News / 17 July 2023

Counter summit in Brussels: civil society organisations call for sustainable and fair trade

On 17 and 18 July, representatives of the governments of Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union meet in Brussels for the EU-CELAC summit. The European Commission and several EU Member States want to use this moment to accelerate the ratification of the trade and investment treaties between the EU and Mexico, the EU and Chile and the EU and the South American Mercosur countries*.

Different voice

Such treaties represent 'business as usual': trade that is doing more harm than good to the planet and its inhabitants. They favor large companies at the expense of our planet, decent working conditions, jobs and animal welfare. They will also lead to more social inequality between Latin America and Europe.That is why dozens of civil society organisations from Latin America and Europe come together in Brussels on the 17th and 18th of July to make a strong counterpoint to the European Union and the Latin American states that are now promoting free trade - at the expense of people and nature.

More collaboration to tackle challenges

Instead of more free trade, more cooperation is needed between Latin America and Europe, the organisations believe. This is the only way to tackle the major challenges that lie ahead: the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity, increasing poverty, unemployment and hunger, and geopolitical conflicts.Representatives of civil society organisations, social movements, farmers' organisations, trade unions, members of the European Parliament and parliamentarians ánd representatives of the governments Latin American countries will gather in the European Parliament for half a day to learn from twenty years of free trade agreements between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Sustainable trade relationships

In addition, the organisations also look to the future: how to do away with 'business as usual' and work on new fair and sustainable trade relationships that are aimed at the challenges of the 21st century. What is needed to build transatlantic relations that promote socially just and environmentally resilient societies, based on the principles of democracy, solidarity, protection of human and labor rights and respect for the planet's carrying capacity.

This meeting is supported, among others, by MEPs from theGreens/EFA, Left, and the Socialist & Democrats group: Manon Aubry. Saskia Bricmont,Christophe Clergeau, José Gusmão, Ana Miranda, Tilly Metz, HelmutScholz, Miguel Urban and Thomas Waitz.


*Mercosur countries: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela is also an official member, but was suspended in 2016.


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