Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Stop Mandelson's Corporate Agenda!

Due to the importance of the communique, I am posting here the latest press release of the Seattle To Brussels Network (S2B)-

Seattle to Brussels Network
Press release

European Commissioner to present EU external competitiveness strategy,
12.30pm CET

Mandelson drops development guise and launches final attack on European Social Model

4 October 2006

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson will today announce a damaging new corporate-driven trade strategy, warn European activist groups and civil society organisations united in the Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B).

The EU's external trade policy will undermine the European social model.
The EU's insistence upon the "least trade-restrictive" regulations has
the potential to wipe out a wide range of policies, from food safety
standards to job security. Meanwhile, European and foreign corporations
are being given an ever greater say in Europe's policy decision-making
process, through a system of prior consultations.

The European Commission's aggressive new "competitiveness" drive also
threatens to cause mass unemployment and poverty in developing
countries, pitting their poor farmers and infant industries against some
of the world's most powerful transnational corporations. Mandelson is
also attempting to re-introduce issues such as government procurement
and investment, repeatedly rejected by developing countries in world
trade talks.

The Seattle to Brussels (S2B) network, representing more than 70
activist groups, civil society organisations and networks from all over
Europe, condemns Mandelson's initiative. If the European Union accepts
this vision, millions of poor farmers and workers both in Europe and in
the global South will lose their livelihoods, says Susan George, board
director of the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute. By repackaging
issues that poor countries have already rejected, the EU is denying
developing countries the right to local business development.

S2B also firmly denounces the EU's drive for internal restructuring in
the interest of trade facilitation. Marc Maes of 11.11.11 (Belgium)
said: By imposing least trade restrictive criteria, the EU is putting
the breakdown of regulation at the core of its external competitiveness
strategy. This will lead to increased hard-nosed competition,
flexibilisation and deregulation. It will also place severe limits upon
the capacity of governments to set their own social and environmental
protection policies.

Note to the editor:

The Seattle to Brussels (S2B) Network is a pan-European network
campaigning to challenge the corporate-driven agenda of the European
Union and other European governments for continued global trade and
investment liberalisation. The S2B Network is part of the global
coalition Our World is Not for Sale.

Tuur Elzinga
X-Y Solidariteitsfonds / Solidarity Fund - Coordinator

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