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209 Civil Society Organisations say: EU trade deals must not undermine democratic rights

24 noviembre 2022

In order to bypass criticism by some EU governments and parliaments, the European Commission wants to change the voting process for upcoming trade agreements with Mexico, Chile and the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) and make it easier and faster for deals to be pushed through by the EU. We, civil society organisations, oppose this move as it would undermine democratic rights!

This so-called “splitting” attempt by the European Commission would mean that the trade pillars of  association agreements with third countries would be adopted without requiring the consent of all EU Member States within the Council of the EU, and without requiring any kind of national ratification. This would be an assault to democracy and  a severe shift away from trade decision-making rules and current practices  whereby   association agreements are approved unanimously by EU governments, as well as by a majority in the European Parliament and by all parliaments at the national level. 

The European Commission’s move is a cynical technical way to ensure that the trade deals it negotiates enter quickly into force despite their controversy regarding deforestation, climate change, human rights violations and animal welfare. The manoeuvre would sideline opposition by some EU governments and national and/or regional parliaments. 

For the EU-Mercosur agreement for example, this splitting would bypass the opposition of the parliaments in Austria, the Netherlands, Wallonia and Brussels as their approval would no longer be required. Same goes for the current government positions like the French stating that they cannot ratify the EU-Mercosur agreement in its current form because of its negative sustainability impacts – they would no longer have a veto power in the Council of the EU. It would also be against the negotiating directives given to the European Commission by the Council in 1999 and the Council Conclusions of 2018. The whole process of scrutiny of the EU-Mercosur deal was based on the common understanding that Member States would have a veto either in the Council or through the ratification at national level. The Commission cannot shortcut this process. This would create procedural pitfalls and violate the European Treaties. 

We civil society organizations vehemently oppose this splitting of trade deals. Splitting the above mentioned agreements is proposed to circumvent existing concerns about the negative implications of these deals on biodiversity, climate change and human rights issues. It prioritizes economic interests above sustainability. An approval by all EU governments and national parliaments is a crucially important act of democracy that provides protection for national farmers, workers, consumers and all citizens.

We call on EU trade ministers, EU governments and national parliamentarians to stand up for the democratic scrutiny of trade agreements and to oppose the European Commission’s outrageous attempts to circumvent opposition.

Signatories,

Asamblea Argentina mejor sin TLC

Argentina

ATTAC Argentina

Argentina

Diálogo 2000

Argentina

Red de Género y Comercio

Argentina

Tierra Nativa / Argentina

Argentina

Anders Handeln

Austria

Attac Austria

Austria

DKA Austria – Dreikönigsaktion

Austria

GLOBAL 2000 – Friends of the Earth Austria

Austria

ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria

Austria

Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund (Austrian Trade Union)

Austria

Parents For Future Austria

Austria

Parents for Future Waldviertel

Austria

transform!at

Austria

Welthaus Graz

Austria

ZAMMM

Austria

11.11.11 – Coalition for International Solidarity

Belgium

ATTAC Wallonie Bruxelles

Belgium

Centre national de coopération au développement (CNCD-11.11.11)

Belgium

Centre tricontinental – CETRI

Belgium

ENTRAIDE ET FRATERNITE

Belgium

Eurogroup for Animals

Belgium

Fern

Belgium

Forum Gauche Ecoliogie

Belgium

FUGEA

Belgium

MOC – Mouvement ouvrier Chretien

Belgium

Amigos de la Tierra

Brazil

Comissão Pastoral da Terra

Brazil

FASE – Solidariedade e Educação

Brazil

Instituto PACS

Brazil

Rede Jubileu Sul Brasil

Brazil

Brazilian Front Against the Eu-Mercosur and EFTA-Mercosur Agreements

Brazil 

Brazilian Network for People’s Integration (Rebrip)

Brazil 

MST

Brazil 

The Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc)

Brazil 

CODEFF

Chile

Fundación Vegetarianos Hoy

Chile

Werken Rojo

Chile

Réseau des Organisations de la Société Civile pour le Développement du Tonkpi (ROSCIDET)

Côte d’Ivoire

Amigu di Tera (Friends of the Earth Curaçao)

Curaçao

Hnutí DUHA – Friends of the Earth Czech Republic

Czech Republic 

Re-set: platform for social-ecological transformation

Czech Republic 

Global Aktion

Denmark

KULU – Women and Development (national NGO network)

Denmark

Estonian Green Movement

Estonia

European Attac Network

European

European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC)

European

foodwatch International

European

Friends of the Earth Europe

European

WeMove Europe

European

WeMove Europe.

European

Attac Finland

Finland

Friends of the Earth Finland

Finland

Aitec

France

Alofa Tuvalu

France

Amis de la Terre France / Friends of the Earth France

France

Attac France

France

CADTM France

France

Collectif Stop CETA-Mercosur

France

Comité Pauvreté et Politique

France

Committee in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (CSIA-Nitassinan)

France

Confédération paysanne

France

Fédération syndicale SUD-Energie

France

Fondation Copernic

France

Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme

France

France Amérique Latine – FAL

France

France Nature Environnement

France

Générations Futures

France

Les Ami.e.s de la Confédération paysanne

France

Les Amis du Monde diplomatique

France

Peuples Solidaires Paris 15

France

Veblen Institute for Economic Reforms

France

ZEA

France

AbL Bayern

Germany

Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt (ASW)

Germany

Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL) e.V.

Germany

Armut und Umwelt in Amazonien

Germany

ASW Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt e.V.

Germany

Attac

Germany

Berliner Wassertisch

Germany

Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz BUND e.V.

Germany

BUND/FoE Germany, Scientific Committee

Germany

Bündnis für gerechten Welthandel

Germany

Bündnis für gerechten Welthandel München

Germany

Christ*innen für den Sozialismus

Germany

Citizen´s Initiatiive “aufRECHT:FREIdenken Mittelbaden”

Germany

Coordination gegen BAYER-Gefahren

Germany

Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionär:innen

Germany

Deutscher Tierschutzbund

Germany

dgb

Germany

FDCL-Center for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America

Germany

FDN

Germany

FIAN Germany

Germany

GAL Staufenberg

Germany

Gesellschaft für soziale Transformation

Germany

Heidelberger Bündnis für einen gerechten Welthandel

Germany

Humanistische Union

Germany

Informationsstelle Peru e.V.

Germany

KoBra-Kooperation Brasilien e.V.

Germany

Kölner Bündnis für gerechten Welthandel

Germany

Konstanzer Byrnes für gerechten Welthandel

Germany

LAG Christ*innen DIE LINKE Bayern

Germany

LBV

Germany

Leuphana

Germany

Mehr Demokratie e.V.

Germany

Misereor

Germany

Muenchner Friedensbuendnis

Germany

NaturFreunde Deutschlands

Germany

Netzwerk gerechter Welthandel

Germany

ÖDP

Germany

PowerShift e.V.

Germany

Slow Food Deutschland

Germany

Umweltinstitu München e.V.

Germany

Verdi

Germany

Weltläden Gießen

Germany

Wuppertaler Aktionsbündnis Gerechter Welthandel

Germany

ATTAC Hungary Association

Hungary

Clean Air Action Group

Hungary

Hungarian Climate Alliance

Hungary

Magyar Természetvédők Szövetsége / Friends of the Earth Hungary

Hungary

Reflex Environmental Association

Hungary

Védegylet Egyesület

Hungary

Friends of the Earth International

International

GRAIN

International

Greenpeace

International

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

International

Parents For Future Global

International

SumOfUs

International

SumOfUs

International

Global Legal Action Network

Ireland

Green Party

Ireland

No TTIP/CETA Clare

Ireland

Wicklow Greens

Ireland

Ambiente&Salute

Italy

Attac Italy

Italy

Campagna Stop EU-Mercosur Italia

Italy

Comunità La Piazzetta di Pulicciano

Italy

Coordinamento nord sud del mondo

Italy

Fairwatch

Italy

Greenpeace

Italy

MAIS ngo

Italy

Amigos de la Tierra América Latina y el Caribe (ATALC)

Latin American

Plataforma América Latina mejor sin TLC

Latin American

Klima-Bündnis Lëtzebuerg

Luxembourg

Luxembourg, FoE Luxembourg

Luxembourg

DECA, EQUIPO PUEBLO

Mexico

Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)

Mexico

Amigos de la Tierra México

México

Centro de Promoción y Educación Profesionall “Vasco de Quiroga”

México

DECA, EQUIPO PUEBLO

México

Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)

Mexico / Latin America

Biodynamische Vereniniging

Netherlands

Both ENDS

Netherlands

Dierenbescherming

Netherlands

Dutch Footprint Network

Netherlands

FNV

Netherlands

Handel Anders!

Netherlands

Landbouwcoalitie voor Rechtvaardige Handel

Netherlands

Platform Aarde Boer Consument

Netherlands

Transnational Institute

Netherlands

VOF van Egmond en ZN.

Netherlands

WILPF NL

Netherlands

Working group Food Justice

Netherlands

World Animal Protection NL

Netherlands

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria

Nigeria

Centro de Estudios HEÑÓI

Paraguay

Iniciativa Amotocodie

Paraguay

SOBREVIVENCIA Amigos de la Tierra

Paraguay

APT

Portugal

Associação Guardiões da Serra da Estrela

Portugal

Associação Resistir.info

Portugal

BIOPORTO

Portugal

Campo Aberto – associação de defesa do ambiente

Portugal

Climáximo

Portugal

CNA – Confederação Nacional da Agricultura

Portugal

Eco-Cartaxo

Portugal

Ecomood Portugal

Portugal

FERNANDA SILVA

Portugal

GAIA – Grupo de Accao e Intervencao Ambiental

Portugal

MARP

Portugal

Movimento Cívico Ar Puro

Portugal

Palombar – Associação de Conservação da Natureza e do Património Rural

Portugal

Plataforma Transgenicos Fora

Portugal

ProTejo

Portugal

TROCA – Plataforma por um Comércio Internacional Justo

Portugal

Znepokojené matky

Slovakia

Focus Association for Sustainable Development

Slovenia

Amigos de la Tierra

Spain

Argentinos en España y ATTAC

Spain

Asociación Entrepueblos/Entrepobles/Heriarte/Entrepobos

Spain

ATTAC Spain

Spain

COAG- Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos

Spain

Confederación Intersindical

Spain

ECDD

Spain

Ecologistas en Acción

Spain

ELA

Spain

Parque central sin especulación

Spain

Permacultura ATTA

Spain

UGT

Spain

Movimiento por la Salud de los Pueblos

Sub región Sur

Amazon Watch Sverige

Sweden

Jordens Vänner

Sweden

NOrdBruk

Sweden

Environmental Justice Foundation

United Kingdom

FRESH EYES

United Kingdom

Global Justice Now

United Kingdom

SEED: Strategies for Ethical and Environmental Development, Inc.

United States

REDES – Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay

Uruguay

Coalición de Tendencia Clasista (CTC-VZLA)

Venezuela

Categorías: NGO Statements, Free Trade Agreements, EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement

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