We are a network of development, environment, human rights, women’s and farmers’ organisations, trade unions, social movements and research institutes.
The network was formed in the aftermath of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) 1999 Seattle Ministerial to challenge the corporate-driven trade agenda of the European Union and European governments. It has also developed as a response to the increasing need for European co-ordination among civil society organisations.
We are committed to contribute to a new, democratically accountable trading system that advances economic justice, social well-being, gender equity and ecological sustainability, and that provides decent jobs and necessary goods and services for all people.
The S2B network notes that the ever expanding and deepening EU trade policy is based on undemocratic decision-making processes, which lack the involvement of parliaments and citizens and favour the participation and interests of large businesses.
As a result the EU trade policy promotes the interests and power of corporations in the global economy by providing new investor, intellectual property and other rights. It promotes the economic self-interest of a few global economic giants, often with devastating effects on local economies, particularly in developing countries. At the same time, it locks in neoliberal policies of privatisation and deregulation.
The S2B network’s political objectives are to
Roll back the power and authority of the fora and agreements used to implement the EU’s corporate driven trade and investment agenda (WTO, TISA, TTIP, bilateral and regional trade agreements, EU internal trade-related policy, etc.);
Expose and challenge the undemocratic nature of EU decision making on trade issues;
Promote an ecologically sustainable, socially just and democratically accountable system of trade;
Promote legally binding rules to ensure that corporations are held democratically accountable for their conduct with regard to their social, economic and environmental impacts.
The network aims to
Engage in co-ordinated campaign activities with broad participation that focuses on activities where pan-European civil society activity is essential for challenging decisions taken at European Commission and Council level (i.e. work together on integrated activities);
- Ensure that the network activities are co-ordinated with those of other global networks and reflects the concerns of Southern groups;
The network is committed to a transparent and democratic way of working together.