CETA and TTIP, the trade agreements between the EU and Canada and the USA threaten democracy and undermine the rule of law. In Autumn discussions will be entering the key phase: the EU and the US will be speeding up the pace to push for final TTIP negotiations by the end of the year.
CETA negotiations have already been concluded. The EU Commission and the German government want the agreement to be officially signed at the EU-Canada Summit in October. Before that, both the EU Council of Ministers and the federal government must decide whether to put a stop to CETA. CETA is a blueprint for TTIP. Even with CETA, large companies can sue EU member states for damages through Canadian subsidiaries if their profits diminish.
Shortly before these politicians are due to make their decisions we’ll be taking our protest against CETA and TTIP to the streets! Supported by a vast alliance, we will be demonstrating with well over a hundred thousand people on Saturday the 17th of September in seven cities: Berlin, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart. We will also be calling on the provincial government representatives in the Bundesrat not to vote in favour of CETA and TTIP.
We are part of a transatlantic movement: On both sides of the Atlantic, we are fighting together with our friends and partners inCanada and the US against trade deals that primarily serve the interests of powerful economic interest groups, and thus only cement the imbalance between the common good and economic interests.
Both abroad and at home – what we are advocating is an equitable trade and investment policy, one based on high environmental and social standards which promotes sustainable development in all countries. Most importantly, this policy must
- promote democracy and the rule of law to secure an opportunity for states, countries and communities to shape their own future,
- strengthen national and international standards for the protection of people, the environment and workers’ rights in order to
- promote the development of a just economic world
We need social and environmental barriers for globalization but it’s apparent that CETA and TTIP are moving in the wrong direction: where the “value” of free trade takes precedence over the value of environmental and social standards. Special rights for investors to bring actions will endanger democratic freedoms.
CETA, TTIP and the service agreement TiSA will put public services, non-profit services, cultural diversity and education programs under pressure. They indicate a failure to learn from the financial crisis, strengthen transnational corporations and weaken small and medium businesses, including agricultural enterprises. CETA and TTIP exclude the countries of the Global South, so instead of solving global problems such as hunger, climate change and inequality, these trade deals contribute to them.
We therefore support international agreements that
- increase environmental, social, data and consumer protection standards instead of lowering or overturning them
- establish employment standards like the fundamental standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) rather than undermining them
- strengthen public and non-profit services rather than weakening them
- promote cultural diversity and public education programs rather than viewing these as barriers to trade
- advance sustainable agriculture and animal welfare instead of promoting genetic engineering and industrial agriculture
- limit the powers of corporations and financial market participants rather than extending them
- are globally oriented instead of marginalizing the majority of people and
- are negotiated transparently and openly rather than behind closed doors and in back rooms
This is why we’ll be demonstrating on Saturday the 17th of September on the streets of Berlin, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart. Come and demonstrate with us!
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