Social Movements Reject the EU-Central America Free Trade Agreement

  With Nicaragua leaving the negotiation table, the 7th round of negotiations between the EU and Central America has been suspended. With this, the aggressive policies of the EU have been brought to a halt for the time being.

European Coordination Via Campesina congratulates the organisations of Via Campesina in Central America and other organisations from civil society for their consistent opposition to these negotiations and their successful resistance.

The so-called “Association Agreement” is nothing more than a Free Trade Agreement that has liberalisation in favour of multinational companies and the privatisation of natural resources and public services (health, housing, education, water, communication amongst others) as main goals.

The EU tries to push the neoliberal agenda which is outlined in its “Global Europe” strategy through these agreements, a strategy which has already failed at the WTO and they now wish to pursue bilaterally. Even though this agreement includes human rights or environmental clauses, it is clear that the goal is to allow the multinational companies to take power over public services, natural resources, the financial system, biodiversity and the genetic resources that are abundant in the Central American region. We support the decision of the Nicaraguan government to abandon the negotiating table and we call on all the Central American governments to take into account the needs of their people and to not defend the interests of multinational corporations.

In the field of agriculture the interests of the agro-industry are clear in attempting to impose a predatory, agro-export orientated model highly dependent on European technologies and financial capital. Through patenting legislation this agreement would create the risk that the Central American region would lose its native and indigenous seeds, ancestral knowledge, peoples sovereignty and production of healthy food.

On top of that, the agreements would threaten to prevent peasant communities from exercising their main function of food provision at the local level. In reality, what is at stake with the FTA with Europe are two totally different models: the EU pushing for an agro-industrial export model and the peasants and indigenous peoples, men and women, of Central America and Europe, who opt for a model based on Food Sovereignty.

European Coordination Via Campesina and Via Campesina in Central America with other social movements from the region reject unequivocally any attempt to reactivate the negotiations within the conditions of inequality in which they took place – completely undermining the sovereignty and integration of the Central American people.

Unfair trade is a criminal act!

It is contrary to the struggle against hunger, the loss of biodiversity and the possibility of cooling the planet