Farmers protest over EU trade policy
Farmers from 17 European organisations have been demonstrating for an EU trade policy that is fair and climate-friendly around the globe. The demonstration was backed by some 100 farmers from France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany, alongside members of civil society groups.
With the demonstration, the participating organisations want to voice their disagreement with the EU’s current trade policy. The EU, they say, has entered into various free trade agreements, such as with Canada (CETA) and with Japan (JEFTA), and is negotiating others, eg, with the Mercosur countries – Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay – along with New Zealand and Australia, and others. At present, the EU is pushing ahead with a relaunch of the negotiations between the EU and the US. The EU is also negotiating trade agreements with some of the poorest countries of the world, mainly in Africa, ie, the so-called “Economic Partnership Agreements” (EPAs).
“These trade agreements lead to agricultural products being dumped even more on other markets as well as to important environmental and labour standards being weakened and multinationals becoming even more powerful,” warns Erwin Schöpges, president of the European Milk Board (EMB).
That is, why during the border demonstration the European alliance symbolically buried the treaties of these new trade agreements.
After that, farmers from different EU countries solemnly signed the European farmers’ declaration, which was hanging up on a giant banner. Their aim is to put pressure on Europe to promote a new trade policy that favours fair farmgate prices and working conditions, climate and environmental protection, animal welfare, high-quality food and food sovereignty.
A new EU Parliament will be elected in May this year. The European alliance demands to bury the unfair and corporate-friendly trade policy and to stand up for the demands of the alliance.