Stop the European Union’s negotiation with Peru and Colombia: restraining injustice and inequality

NRO-Netzwerk Verhandlungen über Handelsabkommen der EU mit Kolumbien und Peru suspendieren: Unrecht und Ungleichheit bremsen. Die Position von zahlreichen Organisationen, Netzwerken und sozialen Bewegungen anlässlich der VI. Verhandlungsrunde im September in Brüssel. In Brussels, from September 21 to 25 a new round of negotiations will be held between two countries from the Andean Community (CAN […]


Verhandlungen über Handelsabkommen der EU mit Kolumbien und Peru suspendieren: Unrecht und Ungleichheit bremsen.

Die Position von zahlreichen Organisationen, Netzwerken und sozialen Bewegungen anlässlich der VI. Verhandlungsrunde im September in Brüssel.

In Brussels, from September 21 to 25 a new round of negotiations will be held between two countries from the Andean Community (CAN for its acronym in Spanish), Peru and Colombia and European Union (EU). This negotiation will be held in spite that the other two CAN’s members, Ecuador and Bolivia have refused to accept the form of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and that is evident that the insistence from EU and Peru and Colombia governments in this type of negotiation, sharpens the crisis of Andean integration process and does not guarantee sustainable development of our countries.

In this context, as civil society organizations from the Andes and Europe, we want to express our concerns with relation to this process and its potential impacts:

1. Global economic crisis have questioned the paradigm of “free trade” and all the international economic system based in the predominance of financial capital and multinational’s interests that have lead to an energy, food and climatic catastrophe. FTA which are the aim of the EU and of the governments of Peru and Colombia block the ability of Andean countries to promote national development policies in benefit of the majority of its population.

2. Of an Agreement of Association to a FTA. During the process of negotiation, the European Union and the governments of Peru and Colombia abandoned the discussion of the “pillars” of Political Dialogue and Cooperation to negotiate a typical FTA at the same time that the EC continued exerting pressure in order to obtain an agreement that essentially has the inclusion of the so called Singapore issues as its objective. This means the highest degree of trade liberalization, including a wide liberalization of services and public purchases and the agreement on disciplines regarding issues related to trade as investment, intellectual property and competence policies. The proposals of the governments of Bolivia and Ecuador and of those which look for the promotion of “fair Trade”, “trade agreements for development” and a real overcome of asymmetries were removed by the EU without even responding them and were ignored by the governments of Peru and Colombia as opposite to the free trade dogma.

3. The bilateral negotiation of this FTA aggravates the already existent tensions within CAN, and can affect the advance of the Andean integration process. This makes evident the lack of coherence of EU with its discourse of support to regional integration and sustainable development of Andean countries. The fact that the governments of Peru and Colombia have promoted and accepted this bilateral negotiation have sharpened the differences among the governments within the region, aggravating the existing tensions among the block’s members. Instead of helping the Andean integration process that can help the countries tomanage the multiple effects of the crisis and to promote a sustainable development, it increases tensions and risks of break within CAN.

4. To liberalize the access to natural resources and to strategic sectors limits the possibilities of development and coerces the States’ sovereignty. Natural resources, biodiversity, traditional knowledge, public services, water sources and mineral and energetic resources of the Andean region have been widely desired by transnational corporations from Europe and United States, the ones that will be the more benefited by this FTA agreement. To put these strategic sectors for the countries’ development at the service of those corporations’ profit goes against the national interests of Andean countries and reinforces the predominance of neoliberal policies.

5. The FTA with EU increases exclusion and conflicts in the Andean region. Recent events in the region have proven the perversity of these agreements and the justification of social struggles against natural resources trade, placing the fact that FTA imply territory despoiling and human rights violation at the centre of the debate. Indigenous Peoples not only have not been consulted as the ILO (International Labour Organization) Convention 169 establishes, but also its protests have been criminalised. They have forgotten recommendations about the effects of trade agreements on women, both from the CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) as well as from the European Parliament. Analysis on the results in the countries where FTA were implemented reveal that they promote dependence on basic products exportation – with its consequences in food security and sovereignty the increase in the prices of the medicines – affecting people’s health -, and the overexploitation of labour, especially the feminine one. With the FTA and a greater expansion of the hydrocarbon and mining industries current internal conflicts in some areas among governments supporters of promoting foreign investment in extractive industries and the local population could be exacerbated.

6. Where did human rights’ defence stay? Despite ongoing serious questions related to human rights enforcement and respect in the region, and that allegedly EU promotes the “democratic clause” in its trading negotiations, human rights and public liberties violations in Colombia and Peru have not deserved any attention during the process, although its adverse effects for the strengthening of democracy. Finally, issues of great interest and urgency, i.e. the acknowledgement of migrant workers and their families’ rights in EU, have stayed out of the negotiations, although they are of great interest for Andean countries.

7. There is a lack of mechanisms for the effective participation of civil society: From the beginning of the negotiations, Andean and European social movements and organizations have proposed the exclusion of issues that directly affect the enforcement of the people’s rights, which were not taken into consideration. Others have pointed out the need that the so-called democratic clause should have a binding nature. There have also been calls to create efficient mechanisms for the civil society participation, and not to continue the negotiations without evaluating their real impacts. However, all these proactive capacity have been useless, because the EU and the Colombian and Peruvian governments continue negotiating at the back of the citizens and the proposals and participation of social organizations lack binding mechanisms.

8. The recommendations and results of the Impact Study are not taken into consideration: Mechanisms of design, elaboration and socialization of the Impact and Sustainability Agreement Study requested by the European Commission were highly precarious, and just now when negotiations are ending they are gathering opinions on the results of the Study. Therefore, it will not have real influence on the results. On the other hand, these results advise that economic benefits of trade liberalization between both regions will not be equitable.

Thus, in the context of an international crisis and the effective impact that the negotiations between Peru and Colombia with the EU are having in the Andean integration process, the below signatories organizations demand that:

· In these conditions of restating of trade economic rules and global finances, of crisis of the Andean integration process, of human rights violations, of exclusion of alternative proposals, of serious threatens to the States’ capacities to promote development, the negotiation of this FTA must be suspended.

· A serious and deep restating of economic and political relationships of EU and the Andean region must be addressed, in order to look for a relationship and economic and trade agreements that benefit peoples and not preserve an evident unfair and unequal situation. This new relationship should not be based on free trade, but on the primacy of international treaties and covenants on Human Rights of Peoples and Nature.

· This restatement must take into consideration a serious of alternative proposals that diverse civil society organizations and networks both in the Andean Region and in Europe are developing in order to strengthen the regional integration not subordinated to the FTA. In other words, integration from the people.


Organizaciones América Latina: Alianza Social Continental-ASC, Asociación Latinoamericana de Organizaciones de Promoción al Desarrollo-ALOP, Amigos de la Tierra América Latina y el Caribe ATALC, Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras de las Américas-CSA, Consejo de Educación de Adultos de América Latina, CEAAL, Global Network-América Latina, Mesa de Coordinación Latinoamericana de Comercio Justo, Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo-PIDHDD, Red Intercontinental de Promoción de la Economía Social y Solidaria-RIPPES, Latinoamérica y El Caribe, Red Latinoamericana de Deuda, Desarrollo y Derechos-LATINDADD, Red Latinoamericana de Mujeres Transformando la Economía-REMTE. Organizaciones Región Andina: Consejo Consultivo de Pueblos Indígenas de la Comunidad Andina, Consejo Consultivo Laboral Andino-CCLA, Consejo Permanente de Sindicatos Andinos del Agua, Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas-CAOI, Coordinadora de Centrales Sindicales Andinas-CCSA, Instituto Laboral Andino-ILA. Bolivia: Centro de Educación Popular Q HANA, Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Laboral y Agrario-CEDLA, Centro de Investigación y Promoción del Campesinado-CIPCA, Comité Integrador de Organizaciones Económicas Campesinas de Bolivia-CIOEC, Fundación TIERRA, PIDHDD-Capítulo Bolivia, Productividad, Biósfera y Medio Ambiente-PROBIOMA, Programa NINA, Unión Nacional de Instituciones para el Trabajo de Acción Social-UNITAS. Colombia: Afrolider, Asamblea Permanente de la Sociedad Civil por la Paz, Asociación de Pequeños y Medianos Productores Agropecuarios del Cauca AGROPEMCA, Asociación de Usuarios Campesinos de Cundinamarca ADUC, Asociación MINGA, Asociación Nacional por la Salvación Agropecuaria, Asociación para la Promoción Social Alternativa, Minga, Asociación Salud al Derecho, Asociación Sindical de Profesores Universitarios ASPU, Asomujer y Trabajo, Campaña Comercio con Justicia: Mis Derechos No Se Negocian, Central de Trabajadores de Colombia, Central de Trabajadores de Colombia CTC, Central Unitaria de Trabajadores CUT, Centro de Estudios del Carbón y la Gran Minería, Centro de Estudios del Trabajo CEDETRABAJO, Colectivo de Derechos Humanos Semillas de Libertad CODHESEL, Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz, Colombia, Comité Colombia de Lucha contra el ALCA y el TLC, Comité de Interlocución Campesina y Comunal CICC, Confederación de Pensionados de Colombia CPC, Coordinación Colombia-Europa-Estados Unidos, Coordinación Región Andina Federación Sindical Mundial, Corporación Aury Sará, Corporación Cactus, Corporación Ensayos para la divulgación de la Cultura Política, Corporación Jurídica Libertad de Antioquia-Colombia, Corporación Jurídica Yira Castro, Escuela de Formación Sindical Raúl Eduardo Mahecha, Escuela Nacional Sindical, Federación Colombiana de Educadores FECODE, Federación de Mujeres Campesinas de Nariño, Federación Nacional de Profesores Universitarios, Federación Santandereana de Mineros FESAMIN, Federación Sindical Mundial Oficina Regional América-, Fundación Servicio Colombiano de Desarrollo Social, Gran Coalición Democrática, Grupos Estudiantiles Confederados GEC, Liga Nacional de Usuarios de Servicios Públicos, Unión Nacional de Usuarios y defensores de Servicios Públicos Domiciliarios, Marcha de Mujeres Campesinas, Marcha Mundial de Mujeres Colombia-, Mesa de Incidencia Política de Mujeres Rurales Colombianas, Mesa de Mujeres y Economía, Mesa de Unidad Agraria, Observatorio de Empresas Transnacionales y Derechos Humanos, Organización Colombiana de Estudiantes, Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia ONIC, Plataforma Colombiana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo, Red Colombiana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio-RECALCA, Sindicato del Instituto de Bienestar Familiar SINTRABIENESTAR, Sindicato Nacional de Corteros -SINALCORTEROS, Sindicato Nacional de los Trabajadores de la Industria del Carbón SINTRACARBÓN, Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores del Sistema Agroalimentario -SINALTRAINAL, Sintramienergética -Seccional El Paso, Sintrateléfonos, Tejido de Comunicaciones de la Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca ACIN, Tribunal Mujeres y des, Unidad Cafetera, Unión Nacional de Empleados Bancarios -UNEB, Unión Sindical Obrera USO, Ecuador: Acción Ecológica, Asociación de Bananeros Orenses, de la provincia de El Oro Ecuador, Asociación de Pequeños Bananeros de Tenguel, provincia de El Guayas-Ecuador, Asociación de Trabajadores Portuarios de Puerto Bolívar, provincia de El Oro-Ecuador, Asociaciones de Pequeños Agricultores de Pasaje, provincia de El Oro-Ecuador, Campaña Ecuador Decide, Central Ecuatoriana de Servicios Agrícolas-CESA, Centro de Derechos Económicos y Sociales-CDES, Centros Agrícolas de Machala, El Guabo, Pasaje y Santa Rosa, provincia de El Oro-Ecuador, Colectivo de Estudio y Vivencia Intercultural Nexos Culturales, Colectivo de Mujeres Acción Política por la Equidad -APE, Confederación de Trabajadores del Ecuador -CTE, Confederación Nacional del Seguro Campesino CONFEUNASSC, Coordinadora Política de Mujeres -CPM, Cristianos de Base, Democracia Socialista, Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progessio-FEPP, Migrantes, Refugiados y Desplazados -MIREDES Internacional, Sistema de la Investigación de la Problemática Agraria del Ecuador-SIPAE. Perú: Acción Internacional por la Salud AIS, Alternativa, Centro de Investigación Social y Educación Popular, ASC-Perú, Asociación ARARIWA, Asociación ATUSPARIA, Asociación Nacional de Centros de Investigación, Promoción Social y Desarrollo -ANC, Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos-APRODEH, Central Unitaria de Trabajadores del Perú-CUT Perú, Centro de Asesoría Laboral del Perú -CEDAL, Centro de la Mujer Peruana FLORA TRISTÁN, Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales CEPES, Colegio de Sociólogos del Perú, Comisión Nacional de Defensa del Agua y la Vida CONAGUAVIDA, Confederación Campesina del Perú-CCP, Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú -CGTP, Confederación Nacional Agraria CNA, Conferencia Nacional de Desarrollo Social CONADES, Consumidores por el Desarrollo -CxD, Convención Nacional del Agro Peruano CONVEAGRO, CooperAcción, Acción Solidaria para el Desarrollo, DESCO, Centro de Estudios y Promoción del Desarrollo, Federación Nacional de Trabajadores de Agua Potable del Perú FENTAP, Foro Ecológico del Perú, Forum Solidaridad Perú, Grupo Género y Economía, Grupo Red de Economía Solidaria del Perú -GRESP, Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano -CENCA , Instituto de Estudios Sindicales IESI, Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres Perú, Movimiento Manuela Ramos, PIDHDD-Capítulo Perú, Programa Democracia y Transformación Global, Programa Laboral de Desarrollo PLADES, Red JUBILEO PERÚ, Red MUQUI, Red Peruana de Comercio Justo y Consumo Ético, Red Peruana de Migraciones y Desarrollo, Red Peruana por una Globalización con Equidad- Red GE, Sociedad Nacional del Ambiente SNA: México: Comité Cerezo, Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres -Zona Centro, Mujeres para el Diálogo MpD, Red Nacional Género y Economía REDGE, RMALC, Siembra, A.C. Nicaragua: Movimiento Social Nicaragüense Otro Mundo es Posible. Redes y organizaciones europeas: Red UE CAN, Red Europea de ONG de Cooperación al Desarrollo Grupo SUR, Amigos de la Tierra Europa -FoEE, European Left, Oficina Internacional de Derechos Humanos Acción Colombia OIDHACO, ONGD Africando, Oxfam International, Transnational Institute TNI, Worldview-The Gambia. Alemania: Centro de Investigación y Documentación Chile-América Latina FDCL, Informationsbüro Nicaragua e.V.- oficina de información Nicaragua Wuppertal, Informationsstelle Lateinamerika (ila) e.V., Kolko e.V. – Derechos Humanos por Colombia, Salva la Selva, World Economy, Ecology & Development WEED. Austria: Center for Encounters and Active Non-Violence, Bad Ischl, Bélgica: Centre National de Coopération au Développement – 11 11 11, Centre tricontinental -CETRI, Comité pour les droits humains „Daniel Gillard“, Corporate Europe Observatory, Koepel van de Vlaamse Noord-Zuidbeweging – 11.11.11, Le Comité pour l’Annulation de la Dette du Tiers Monde CADTM, Solidar, SOS Faim: España/Estado Español: ACSUR-Las Segovias, Alternativa antimilitarista.moc, AMARANTE Setem, Asociación Canaria de Economía Alternativa, Asociacion De Solidaridad Con Colombia Asoc-Katío, Attac Catalunya, Attac España, Colectivo de Solidaridad por la Justicia y Dignidad de los Pueblos Coliche, Comisión 0’7% PIB, de Daimiel, Comité Oscar Romero de Madrid, Comité por la defensa de los derechos humanos en Colombia COMADEHCO, Coordinadora Estatal de Solidaridad con Cuba, Ecologistas en Acción, Fundación IEPALA, Fundación Paz y Solidaridad Serafín Aliaga -CC.OO, ICID – Iniciativas de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo, Instituto Sindical de Cooperación al Desarrollo-UGT, Izquierda Anticapitalista, Justicia por Colombia, Movimiento Rural Cristiano, Mundubat, Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización Catalunya, Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina OMAL, Red de Semillas -Resembrando e Intercambiando-, Red Solidaria Itaca, SODePAZ, Unión Universal Desarrollo Solidario, Veterinarios Sin Fronteras. Francia: AITEC, Attac France, France Amerique Latine, Partido Comunista de Francia, Secours Catholique-Caritas. Holanda: Cross Cultural Bridges, Fondo de Solidaridad XminY, Organizacion Juvenil y Autonoma para Latino-America OJALA, Plataforma ABC, X minus Y Solidarity Fund. Irlanda: Latin American Solidarity Centre. Italia: A Sud , Partito della Rifondazione Comunista – Sinistra Europea, Rete Italiana di Solidarieta Colombia Vive!. Reino Unido: Christian Aid, War on Want, Suecia: Civis, Solidaridad Suecia-América Latina SAL. Suiza: Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz-Kolumbien ask.