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209 Civil Society Organisations say: EU trade deals must not undermine democratic rights

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S2B Network | 24 November 2022

209 Civil Society Organisations say: EU trade deals must not undermine democratic rights

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 TLC Argentina
ATTAC Argentina Argentina
Diálogo 2000 Argentina
Red de Género y Comercio Argentina
Tierra Nativa / Argentina Argentina
Anders Handeln Austria
Attac Austria Austria
DKA Austria – Dreikönigsaktion Austria
GLOBAL 2000 – Friends of the Earth Austria Austria
ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria Austria
Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund (Austrian Trade Union) Austria
Parents For Future Austria Austria
Parents for Future Waldviertel Austria
transform!at Austria
Welthaus Graz Austria
ZAMMM Austria
11.11.11 – Coalition for International Solidarity Belgium
ATTAC Wallonie Bruxelles Belgium
Centre national de coopération au développement (CNCD-11.11.11) Belgium
Centre tricontinental – CETRI Belgium
Eurogroup for Animals Belgium
Fern Belgium
Forum Gauche Ecoliogie Belgium
FUGEA Belgium
MOC – Mouvement ouvrier Chretien Belgium
Amigos de la Tierra Brazil
Comissão Pastoral da Terra Brazil
FASE – Solidariedade e Educação Brazil
Instituto PACS Brazil
Rede Jubileu Sul Brasil Brazil
Brazilian Front Against the Eu-Mercosur and EFTA-Mercosur Agreements Brazil
Brazilian Network for People’s Integration (Rebrip) Brazil
MST Brazil
The Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) Brazil
Fundación Vegetarianos Hoy Chile
Werken Rojo Chile
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 Republic Czech Republic
Re-set: platform for social-ecological transformation Czech Republic
Global Aktion Denmark
KULU – Women and Development (national NGO network) Denmark
Estonian Green Movement Estonia
European Attac Network European
European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) European
foodwatch International European
Friends of the Earth Europe European
WeMove Europe European
WeMove Europe. European
Attac Finland Finland
Friends of the Earth Finland Finland
Aitec France
Alofa Tuvalu France
Amis de la Terre France / Friends of the Earth France France
Attac France France
CADTM France France
Collectif Stop CETA-Mercosur France
Comité Pauvreté et Politique France
Committee in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (CSIA-Nitassinan) France
Confédération paysanne France
Fédération syndicale SUD-Energie France
Fondation Copernic France
Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme France
France Amérique Latine – FAL France
France Nature Environnement France
Générations Futures France
Les Ami.e.s de la Confédération paysanne France
Les Amis du Monde diplomatique France
Peuples Solidaires Paris 15 France
Veblen Institute for Economic Reforms France
ZEA France
AbL Bayern Germany
Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt (ASW) Germany
Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL) e.V. Germany
Armut und Umwelt in Amazonien Germany
ASW Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt e.V. Germany
Attac Germany
Berliner Wassertisch Germany
Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz BUND e.V. Germany
BUND/FoE Germany, Scientific Committee Germany
Bündnis für gerechten Welthandel Germany
Bündnis für gerechten Welthandel München Germany
Christ*innen für den Sozialismus Germany
Citizen´s Initiatiive “aufRECHT:FREIdenken Mittelbaden” Germany
Coordination gegen BAYER-Gefahren Germany
Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionär:innen Germany
Deutscher Tierschutzbund Germany
dgb germany
FDCL-Center for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America Germany
FDN Germany
FIAN Germany Germany
GAL Staufenberg Germany
Gesellschaft für soziale Transformation Germany
Heidelberger Bündnis für einen gerechten Welthandel Germany
Humanistische Union Germany
Informationsstelle Peru e.V. Germany
KoBra-Kooperation Brasilien e.V. Germany
Kölner Bündnis für gerechten Welthandel Germany
Konstanzer Byrnes für gerechten Welthandel Germany
LAG Christ*innen DIE LINKE Bayern Germany
LBV Germany
Leuphana Germany
Mehr Demokratie e.V. Germany
Misereor Germany
Muenchner Friedensbuendnis Germany
NaturFreunde Deutschlands Germany
Netzwerk gerechter Welthandel Germany
ÖDP Germany
PowerShift e.V. Germany
Slow Food Deutschland Germany
Umweltinstitu München e.V. Germany
Verdi Germany
Weltläden Gießen Germany
Wuppertaler Aktionsbündnis Gerechter Welthandel Germany
ATTAC Hungary Association Hungary
Clean Air Action Group Hungary
Hungarian Climate Alliance Hungary
Magyar Természetvédők Szövetsége / Friends of the Earth Hungary Hungary
Reflex Environmental Association Hungary
Védegylet Egyesület Hungary
Friends of the Earth International International
GRAIN International
Greenpeace International
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy International
Parents For Future Global International
SumOfUs International
SumOfUs International
Global Legal Action Network Ireland
Green Party Ireland
No TTIP/CETA Clare Ireland
Wicklow Greens Ireland
Ambiente&Salute Italy
Attac Italy Italy
Campagna Stop EU-Mercosur Italia Italy
Comunità La Piazzetta di Pulicciano Italy
Coordinamento nord sud del mondo Italy
Fairwatch Italy
Greenpeace Italy
MAIS ngo Italy
Amigos de la Tierra América Latina y el Caribe (ATALC) Latin American
Plataforma América Latina mejor sin TLC Latin American
Klima-Bündnis Lëtzebuerg Luxembourg
Luxembourg, FoE Luxembourg Luxembourg
Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER) Mexico
Amigos de la Tierra México México
Centro de Promoción y Educación Profesionall “Vasco de Quiroga” México
Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER) Mexico / Latin America
Biodynamische Vereniniging Netherlands
Both ENDS Netherlands
Dierenbescherming Netherlands
Dutch Footprint Network Netherlands
FNV Netherlands
Handel Anders! Netherlands
Landbouwcoalitie voor Rechtvaardige Handel Netherlands
Platform Aarde Boer Consument Netherlands
Transnational Institute Netherlands
VOF van Egmond en ZN. Netherlands
WILPF NL Netherlands
Working group Food Justice Netherlands
World Animal Protection NL Netherlands
Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria Nigeria
Centro de Estudios HEÑÓI Paraguay
Iniciativa Amotocodie Paraguay
APT Portugal
Associação Guardiões da Serra da Estrela Portugal
Associação Portugal
Campo Aberto – associação de defesa do ambiente Portugal
Climáximo Portugal
CNA – Confederação Nacional da Agricultura Portugal
Eco-Cartaxo Portugal
Ecomood Portugal Portugal
GAIA – Grupo de Accao e Intervencao Ambiental Portugal
MARP Portugal
Movimento Cívico Ar Puro Portugal
Palombar – Associação de Conservação da Natureza e do Património Rural Portugal
Plataforma Transgenicos Fora Portugal
ProTejo Portugal
TROCA – Plataforma por um Comércio Internacional Justo Portugal
Znepokojené matky Slovakia
Focus Association for Sustainable Development Slovenia
Amigos de la Tierra Spain
Argentinos en España y ATTAC Spain
Asociación Entrepueblos/Entrepobles/Heriarte/Entrepobos Spain
ATTAC Spain Spain
COAG- Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos Spain
Confederación Intersindical Spain
ECDD Spain
Ecologistas en Acción Spain
ELA Spain
Parque central sin especulación Spain
Permacultura ATTA Spain
UGT Spain
Movimiento por la Salud de los Pueblos Sub región Sur
Amazon Watch Sverige Sweden
Jordens Vänner Sweden
NOrdBruk Sweden
Environmental Justice Foundation United Kingdom
FRESH EYES United Kingdom
Global Justice Now United Kingdom
SEED: Strategies for Ethical and Environmental Development, Inc. United States
REDES – Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay Uruguay
Coalición de Tendencia Clasista (CTC-VZLA) Venezuela

 source: S2B Network