uruguay: global europe publication
In April 2007, the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council authorized the European Commission to negotiate new free trade agreements with India, South Korea, South-East Asian nations, Central America and the Andean countries. The EU is now using Association Agreements and the creation of free trade areas as mechanisms to ensure access to energy resources and raw materials and the opening of markets for European companies.
Whilst European business and industry appear to have been extensively involved in consultations about Global Europe, civil society groups and social movements have hardly been involved at all. There is a lack of clear information about the Global Europe agenda, making it hard for civil society organizations in the global South to resist it.
Friends of the Earth International worked to raise awareness and share ideas about Global Europe among social movements, grassroots organizations, NGOs and the public. Another important goal was to stimulate collective analysis among FoE International groups, and encourage them to get involved in the network’s Economic Justice-Resisting Neoliberalism (EJRN) program, especially its activities around the Global Europe strategy.
FoE International made a publication focusing on Global Europe. This brought together information already published by FoE groups and new articles written from a regional perspective. It contained a synthesis of the Global Europe Maps produced by FoE Latin America and the Caribbean.
Articles in the publication analyzed Global Europe’s implications for food sovereignty, and the potential impacts of liberalizing services and finance. It also considered the EU’s raw materials initiative. The publication covered the specific Association Agreements with Central America and the Caribbean states and current developments in Africa and Asia.
It also included perspectives from European social movements and organizations, who are also rejecting the Global Europe strategy, as it does not respond to the needs and aims of European citizens, but to the interest of corporations. The publication exposed how the strategy will affect people and the environment in Europe.
3,000 copies were printed: 1,500 in English and 1,500 Spanish, for distribution among social movements and organizations at relevant national and international fora. The Spanish edition was distributed at a regional seminar on Public Cooperation Agreements organized by Red Vida (the Inter-American Network for the Defense of the Right to Water). Organizations and trade unions from Perú, Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia received the publication, as well as Uruguayan MPs.
The publication will be launched at a series of key events in several Latin American countries, including a seminar in Montevideo with the participation of Members of the Mercosur Parliament.
The EJRN program will continue to expose the Global Europe strategy and associated Economic Partnership Agreements and Association Agreements. FoE International will work to raise awareness, build alliances, and influence decision-making both in Europe and in the Southern countries.
with thanks to our funder: the dutch ministry of foreign affairs (dgis)