"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
The structural adjustment policies of the Bretton Woods Institutions [the World Bank and the IMF] have for decades caused untold harm to people and nature. Their implicit or explicit cooperation with the TNCs cannot be denied. For all these reasons, we demand that European governments take responsibility for their corporations and cease their support for their predatory activities in Latin America.
As a result of the free trade agreements with the European Union, called economic partnership agreements, regional integration in Southern Africa is in tatters. The question arises: what kind of integration would engender broad-based development?
The Asia-Europe People's Forum (AEPF) is an inter-regional network of progressive civil society and social movements across Asia and Europe. Since 1996, AEPF has critically engaged the ASEM and has been organising the biennial gathering of people from Asia and Europe parallel to the official ASEM Summit Meetings. It has sustained its advocacy and commitment for peace and security, economic and social rights and democracy and human rights in Asia-Europe relations.
This year's Madrid summit marks a key milestone in the ongoing development of the Enlazando Alternativas network for both highlighting EU complicity with human rights and environmental abuses and highlighting the real alternatives offered by social movements of integration and development that respect the rights of people, communities, and protect the environment.
Alberto Arroyo Picard, Graciela Rodríguez, Norma Castañeda Bustamante
13 April 2009
An examination of the contrast between the EU‘s professed aims for supporting regional integration in Latin America with the actual experiences of the different regions in LA with which the EU is seeking to sign Association Agreements.