EU-Mexico Agreement: Reflections on the impacts of European investments and free trade

02 Octubre 2020
Event

Join a Virtual Public Conference about the new trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mexico.

Date
02 Octubre 2020
Time
16:00 - 17:30 CET

EU-Mexico Agreement: Reflections on the impacts of European investments and free trade
EU-Mexico Agreement: Reflections on the impacts of European investments and free trade

On April 28, 2020, amid the global C-19 health crisis, the conclusion of a new trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mexico, the Nr. 1. commercial partner in Latin America, was announced. It includes a chapter on investment protection among its central elements. Mexico would be the first Latin American country to sign a treaty with Europe that includes this dimension.

The benefits for European corporations are obvious: it represents 35% of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico. But for the Latin American country, which is already among the six most sued countries in the world (and the third in Latin America) by foreign investors before international arbitration tribunals, this chapter could represent a considerable risk. Among the 31 arbitration lawsuits it faced until the end of 2019, seven were filed by European companies (five Spanish and two French). With the new agreement, there is a risk that the deep asymmetry established between the interests of companies and human rights will be deepened and consolidated.

Given the prospects of this future agreement, it is essential to assess on the ground what the effects on human rights and the environment have been so far of the trade and investment regime, especially with regard to the most vulnerable populations. During the Virtual Conference the main results of the “International Observation Caravan” (#ToxiTourMexico) will be presented, with the aim of providing elements for reflection on the new agreement between the European Union and Mexico.

The Caravan was participated in by representatives of the European Parliament, the Basque Parliament, the Senate of Minnesota (United States), as well as scientists and activists from organizations in Germany, Argentina, Ecuador, the United States, France, Catalonia, Mexico, the Basque Country and the Netherlands. It also included representatives of the Mexican Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and academics from the Union of Scientists Committed to Society (UCCS). The main motivation was to evaluate the impacts of free trade and the presence of transnational corporations in Mexico. The affected communities visited made visible to the Caravan an alarming environmental and health emergency, today aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registration to participate in the Virtual Public Conference will be open until October 1st 2020.

4pm (CET Brussels) - 9am (Mexico City), 02 October 2020


(Simultaneous interpretation will be ensured in English, Spanish and French)


Speakers:

  • María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, MEP - GUE/NGL, Podemos 
  • Representatives of affected communities in the regions visited by the Caravan
  • Mikel Otero, MP – Basque Parliament – EHU/Bildu 
  • Manuel Pérez-Rocha, Transnational Institute / Institute for Policy Studies

Convenors:

Acción ecológica, Corporate Accountability, EH-BILDU, Ekologistak Martxan, GUE/NGL, Ökumenisches Büro für Frieden und Gerechtigkeit, Mexico via Berlin, OMAL, OPSUR Podemos, Taula per Mèxic, TNI, Tradener, UDAPT, UCCS – México, Zentrum für Entwicklungsbezogene Bildung.