An open letter to the governments of EU-CELAC
As Heads of State and Government from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (In Spanish CELAC) and the European Union (EU) start a two days Summit today in Brussels, social movements from both sides of the Atlantic take the chance to promote new initiatives to move away a system led by corporate power and trade and investment agreements, and towards the defence of human rights and peoples sovereignty.
We, members and representatives of diverse collectives and organizations from Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean, meeting in Brussels around the Days of Mobilization for Peoples Sovereignty against TNC Corporate power and the Architecture of Impunity established through Free Trade and Investment Treaties, during the second EU-CELAC summit,
Our strong objection and rejection of the neoliberal and austerity policies that are being applied in the EU countries in response to the crisis generated by the extreme deregulation of the financial system whose only interest is to maximize profits through the privatization of gains and the socialization of impacts and losses. After the financial crisis came the governments’ debt crisis which has now given way to budgetary crisis in austerity-ridden States. More than 25 million people are now unemployed in the EU, mainly youth, while European banks have received multibillion bailouts. We denounce the attitude of the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission who are attempting to impose the interests of the creditors on the Greek people and the Syriza-led government. We support their resistance and mobilizations, as well as the public debt audit currently ongoing in that country and the cancellation of all illegitimate debts.
We demand substantive changes to the resource extraction policies in Latin America and the Caribbean that have been generalized all over, from Mexico to Argentina and from Brazil to Bolivia, generating dispossession and land expropriation, massive displacement of communities and environmental damages.
We demand the governments to immediately suspend indefinitely the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) of the UE with the United States, the Trade in Service Agreement (TiSA) which involves the EU and several States from Latin America, as well as the Transpacific Partnership (TPP). Signing this treaties would carry extremely negative consequences for the people not only in Europe, Latin America and the US but everywhere around the world, as a consequence of the ensuing deregulation of employment, food security, environmental laws, the privatization and/or deregulation of public services, and the granting of rights to transnational corporations and private investors that could significantly increase their ability to sue States — a direct attack on their sovereignty.
The second EU-CELAC summit is developing under the theme of “Shaping our common future: working for a prosperous cohesive and sustainable societies for our citizens“. However, by insisting in focusing that relationship on the multiplication and establishment of Free Trade Agreements –cloaked as ‘partnership agreements’– these objectives will only get derailed and diluted and our societies will be driven to new and ever deeper crises.
We demand a public and democratic assessment of the impacts of the EU FTAs with Mexico and Chile, whose governments are now ready to sellout whatever is left of the national economy in order to attract new capital and investors. We call on the governments of the MERCOSUR countries not to reinitiate the negotiations for an FTA with the UE. We reiterate our call against the ratification of the EU FTAs with Colombia, Peru, Central America, currently under discussion in Parliament in several European countries.
We call on EU and CELAC governments to firmly reaffirm the principle of common and differentiated responsibilities for climate change and its impacts, and to ensure the strict implementation of this principle all throughout the new global agreement to address climate change, that shall emerge from the coming COP 21 in Paris in December 2015.
That means European governments have to commit to the needed strict emissions cuts of European companies all over the world –with no recourse to market-based mechanisms and without carbon-offsets– so we all can avoid further global warming and runaway climate change; and it means they need to provide the necessary financial and technical assistance to Latin American countries so they can adapt to the impacts of climate change and undertake the necessary transition to equitable economies that move away from fossil fuel dependency while ensuring the realization of all human rights.
We call on governments to commit urgently to participate actively and constructively in the negotiations for the establishment of an international legally binding instrument on business and human rights, as mandated by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014 (decision A/HRC/26/L.22/Rev.1) in order to force transnational corporations to respect human rights wherever they operate.
Our struggles are not only resistance -more than ever necessary to face social, economic and environmental threats to our societies- but also efforts to create alternatives to the current trade and investment policies which respect human rights and guarantee true social, integral, just, democratic and plural development.
LIST OF SIGNATORIES (alphabetic order)
Alternative Information and Development Center (AIDC), Asamblea Nacional de Afectadas/os Ambientales (México), Asamblea Veracruzana de Iniciativas y Defensa Ambiental (LAVIDA), Attac Argentina, Brazilian Network on Peoples Integration (REBRIP), Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM), CADTM AYNA., Comunidades Construyendo Paz desde el Territorio – CONPAZ, Center of United and Progressive Workers (SENTRO), Copenhagen Initiative for Central America and Mexico (CIFCA), Collectif Venezuela 13 Avril, Bruxelles, Comité pour les Droits Humains “Daniel Gillard”, Corporate European Observatory (CEO), Ecologistas en Acción, Enginyeria Sense Fronteres, Enlazando Alternativas, Entrepueblos, France America Latina, Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN), Friend of the Earth Colombia (CENSAT), Friend of the Earth Guatemala (CEIBA), Friends of the Earth International, Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean, Friends of the Earth Uruguay (REDES), Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, European Network of NGOs Grupo Sur, Hemispheric Social Alliance (HSA), Institute of Policy Studies- Global Economy Project, International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), Mémoires des Luttes France, Mouvement VEGA, Movement of Peoples Affected by Dams in Brazil (MAB), Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por Presas y en Defensa de los Ríos (MAPDER), Mundubat, Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (ODG), Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina (OMAL, Paz con Dignidad), Oficina Internacional de los Derechos Humanos – Acción Colombia (Oidhaco), Party of the European Left, Red Latinoamericana sobre Deuda, Desarrollo y Derechos (LATINDADD), Red Mexicana de Accion frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Rosa Luxembourg Foundation Brussels, Solidaridad Suecia – America Latina (SAL), TIYE International (Black, Migrant and Refugee women in the Netherlands), Transnational Institute (TNI), Women in Development Europe (WIDE +), World March of Women.