Policy .pdf - March 2011 Time for Europe to put values and...

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Over 200 civil society organisations and the International and European Trade Union Confederations are opposing the EU-Colombia/Peru FTA because it will: Reward a Colombian government responsible for the highest level of trade unionist assassinations worldwide and ongoing disappearances and forced displacement. Expand investment in areas of mining and biofuels, which the European Commission’s (EC) own evidence suggests will increase land grabbing and further forced displacement. Undermine indigenous rights in Colombia and Peru, in particular those under ILO Convention 169 that require prior, free and informed consent by indigenous peoples. Prevent Peru and Colombia from imposing essential capital controls or taking necessary measures to boost employment in local industries during a period of global financial and economic instability. Further undermine regional integration in Latin America’s oldest regional trading block, which has already been divided by the EC’s refusal to negotiate flexibly with the region and its member countries’ particular needs and contexts. Destroy Peru and Colombia’s dairy industries and threaten the livelihoods connected to other agricultural industries. Damage European Union’s international reputation. The US, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Flemish regional government have refused to ratify agreements with Colombia; the EU should not either. Time for Europe to put values and human rights above commercial advantage Policy Brief: Why EU–Colombia/Peru Free Trade Agreements should not be ratified March 2011 Fruit vendors in a street of Boca Grande, Cartagena, Colombia ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
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2 2. Background 1. Introduction Inter-regional trade has traditionally received strong support in the European Union for its potential to increase investment, create jobs and build linkages and mutual ties between regions. However, it is widely agreed that commercial needs can not take precedence over human rights, tackling poverty and environmental degradation, and the need for sustainable development. The European Union’s own documents assert this: “Within the broad context of EU policy making, coherence is a multidimensional commitment which needs to take place within the overall framework of the EU sustainable development strategy. Non-development policies [trade, agriculture, fisheries, food safety, transport and energy] should respect development policy objectives…” (European Commission, 2005:3). That is why the European Trade Union Confederation (representing 60 million members from 36 countries) along with more than 200 civil society organisations and social movements from Europe and Latin America are shocked that the EC is prepared to sign deals with Colombia and Peru – which will legitimise a country responsible for the highest levels of assassinations of trade unionists, and exacerbate violations of indigenous rights across the Andes and the Amazon.
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