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.


Asamblea Argentina mejor sin TLCArgentina
ATTAC ArgentinaArgentina
Diálogo 2000Argentina
Red de Género y ComercioArgentina
Tierra Nativa / ArgentinaArgentina
Anders HandelnAustria
Attac AustriaAustria
DKA Austria – DreikönigsaktionAustria
GLOBAL 2000 – Friends of the Earth AustriaAustria
ÖBV-Via Campesina AustriaAustria
Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund (Austrian Trade Union)Austria
Parents For Future AustriaAustria
Parents for Future WaldviertelAustria
Welthaus GrazAustria
11.11.11 – Coalition for International SolidarityBelgium
ATTAC Wallonie BruxellesBelgium
Centre national de coopération au développement (CNCD-11.11.11)Belgium
Centre tricontinental – CETRIBelgium
Eurogroup for AnimalsBelgium
Forum Gauche EcoliogieBelgium
MOC – Mouvement ouvrier ChretienBelgium
Amigos de la TierraBrazil
Comissão Pastoral da TerraBrazil
FASE – Solidariedade e EducaçãoBrazil
Instituto PACSBrazil
Rede Jubileu Sul BrasilBrazil
Brazilian Front Against the Eu-Mercosur and EFTA-Mercosur AgreementsBrazil 
Brazilian Network for People’s Integration (Rebrip)Brazil 
The Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc)Brazil 
Fundación Vegetarianos HoyChile
Werken RojoChile
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 RepublicCzech Republic 
Re-set: platform for social-ecological transformationCzech Republic 
Global AktionDenmark
KULU – Women and Development (national NGO network)Denmark
Estonian Green MovementEstonia
European Attac NetworkEuropean
European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC)European
foodwatch InternationalEuropean
Friends of the Earth EuropeEuropean
WeMove EuropeEuropean
WeMove Europe.European
Attac FinlandFinland
Friends of the Earth FinlandFinland
Alofa TuvaluFrance
Amis de la Terre France / Friends of the Earth FranceFrance
Attac FranceFrance
CADTM FranceFrance
Collectif Stop CETA-MercosurFrance
Comité Pauvreté et PolitiqueFrance
Committee in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (CSIA-Nitassinan)France
Confédération paysanneFrance
Fédération syndicale SUD-EnergieFrance
Fondation CopernicFrance
Fondation pour la Nature et l’HommeFrance
France Amérique Latine – FALFrance
France Nature EnvironnementFrance
Générations FuturesFrance
Les Ami.e.s de la Confédération paysanneFrance
Les Amis du Monde diplomatiqueFrance
Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (LDH) France
Peuples Solidaires Paris 15France
Veblen Institute for Economic ReformsFrance
AbL BayernGermany
Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt (ASW)Germany
Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL) e.V.Germany
Armut und Umwelt in AmazonienGermany
ASW Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt e.V.Germany
Berliner WassertischGermany
Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz BUND e.V.Germany
BUND/FoE Germany, Scientific CommitteeGermany
Bündnis für gerechten WelthandelGermany
Bündnis für gerechten Welthandel MünchenGermany
Christ*innen für den SozialismusGermany
Citizen´s Initiatiive “aufRECHT:FREIdenken Mittelbaden”Germany
Coordination gegen BAYER-GefahrenGermany
Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionär:innenGermany
Deutscher TierschutzbundGermany
FDCL-Center for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin AmericaGermany
FIAN GermanyGermany
GAL StaufenbergGermany
Gesellschaft für soziale TransformationGermany
Heidelberger Bündnis für einen gerechten WelthandelGermany
Humanistische UnionGermany
Informationsstelle Peru e.V.Germany
KoBra-Kooperation Brasilien e.V.Germany
Kölner Bündnis für gerechten WelthandelGermany
Konstanzer Byrnes für gerechten WelthandelGermany
LAG Christ*innen DIE LINKE BayernGermany
Mehr Demokratie e.V.Germany
Muenchner FriedensbuendnisGermany
NaturFreunde DeutschlandsGermany
Netzwerk gerechter WelthandelGermany
PowerShift e.V.Germany
Slow Food DeutschlandGermany
Umweltinstitu München e.V.Germany
Weltläden GießenGermany
Wuppertaler Aktionsbündnis Gerechter WelthandelGermany
ATTAC Hungary AssociationHungary
Clean Air Action GroupHungary
Hungarian Climate AllianceHungary
Magyar Természetvédők Szövetsége / Friends of the Earth HungaryHungary
Reflex Environmental AssociationHungary
Védegylet EgyesületHungary
Friends of the Earth InternationalInternational
Institute for Agriculture and Trade PolicyInternational
Parents For Future GlobalInternational
Global Legal Action NetworkIreland
Green PartyIreland
No TTIP/CETA ClareIreland
Wicklow GreensIreland
Attac ItalyItaly
Campagna Stop EU-Mercosur ItaliaItaly
Comunità La Piazzetta di PuliccianoItaly
Coordinamento nord sud del mondoItaly
MAIS ngoItaly
Amigos de la Tierra América Latina y el Caribe (ATALC)Latin American
Plataforma América Latina mejor sin TLCLatin American
Klima-Bündnis LëtzebuergLuxembourg
Luxembourg, FoE LuxembourgLuxembourg
Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)Mexico
Amigos de la Tierra MéxicoMéxico
Centro de Promoción y Educación Profesionall “Vasco de Quiroga”México
Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)Mexico / Latin America
Biodynamische VereninigingNetherlands
Both ENDSNetherlands
Dutch Footprint NetworkNetherlands
Handel Anders!Netherlands
Landbouwcoalitie voor Rechtvaardige HandelNetherlands
Platform Aarde Boer ConsumentNetherlands
Transnational InstituteNetherlands
VOF van Egmond en ZN.Netherlands
WILPF NLNetherlands
Working group Food JusticeNetherlands
World Animal Protection NLNetherlands
Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth NigeriaNigeria
Centro de Estudios HEÑÓIParaguay
Iniciativa AmotocodieParaguay
Associação Guardiões da Serra da EstrelaPortugal
Associação Resistir.infoPortugal
Campo Aberto – associação de defesa do ambientePortugal
CNA – Confederação Nacional da AgriculturaPortugal
Ecomood PortugalPortugal
GAIA – Grupo de Accao e Intervencao AmbientalPortugal
Movimento Cívico Ar PuroPortugal
Palombar – Associação de Conservação da Natureza e do Património RuralPortugal
Plataforma Transgenicos ForaPortugal
TROCA – Plataforma por um Comércio Internacional JustoPortugal
Znepokojené matkySlovakia
Focus Association for Sustainable DevelopmentSlovenia
Amigos de la TierraSpain
Argentinos en España y ATTACSpain
Asociación Entrepueblos/Entrepobles/Heriarte/EntrepobosSpain
ATTAC SpainSpain
COAG- Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y GanaderosSpain
Confederación IntersindicalSpain
Ecologistas en AcciónSpain
Parque central sin especulaciónSpain
Permacultura ATTASpain
Movimiento por la Salud de los PueblosSub región Sur
Amazon Watch SverigeSweden
Jordens VännerSweden
Environmental Justice FoundationUnited Kingdom
FRESH EYESUnited Kingdom
Global Justice NowUnited Kingdom
SEED: Strategies for Ethical and Environmental Development, Inc.United States
REDES – Amigos de la Tierra UruguayUruguay
Coalición de Tendencia Clasista (CTC-VZLA)Venezuela