Free trade or slave trade? How the EU's free trade agreements in Colombia and Peru reward human rights abuses, destroy livelihoods, promote land grabbing and strip governments of their sovereignty to regulate capital flows.
Despite repeated democratic rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission pushed ahead with it via the EU Constitution via a private, technocratic and non-democratic process. Susan discussed the treaty and its implications in a workshop at the EA4 summit in Madrid, 15 May 2010.
"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 language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.
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.
The backlash from business and the opposition against Bolivia's trade policy with the EU was shrill enough to suggest that Bolivia had announced the end of external trade. Yet the Bolivian government's position is based on experience of the heavy costs of free trade for the majority of its citizens.
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.
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.
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?