By Thomas Dauphin, trade campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe
The EU Commission is trying to lower EU food safety standards as part of a rushed trade deal with the USA, according to statements from senior trade officials.
EU trade commissioner Hogan and other trade officials have confirmed their intention to reduce ‘non-tariff’ barriers on farm goods in trade negotiations. This could bring unsafe food, only tested for lower US standards, on European consumers’ plates.
EU Commission president von der Leyen has said she wants to push the trade deal through in a few weeks to avoid any new tariffs on EU/German car exports.
An obscure investment treaty, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), could undermine the goals of Europe’s Green Deal, unless it is fundamentally revised in negotiations that trail its annual conference this week in Brussels, over 250 civil society organisations and trade unions warn.
by Jagoda Munić, director of Friends of the Earth Europe
“I want you to act as if our house is on fire”, climate activist Greta Thunberg told politicians at the World Economic Forum in January this year, seeking to motivate them to urgently put a stop to runaway climate change.
New research published today reveals the devastating consequences of the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. A common ingredient in international trade and investment agreements, ISDS creates a parallel justice system that rolls out the red carpet for corporations to sue states when they act in the public interest.
In an open letter published today, over 340 civil society organisations are demanding that the European Union immediately halt free trade agreement negotiations with the Mercosur bloc (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) on the grounds of deteriorating human rights and environmental conditions in Brazil.
As Europe’s prime ministers meet tomorrow in Sibiu, Romania, to shape the future of Europe, the EU’s next five-year priorities and long-term climate goals, Friends of the Earth Europe urges them to grasp the nettle of transformative change.
EU Member States in the European Council have today agreed to start negotiating a new EU-US trade deal.
The talks were de facto approved despite promises by French President Macron and EU Trade Commissioner Malmström that the EU would not negotiate a trade agreement with countries that have not signed the Paris agreement on climate change.
This Wednesday, 13th February, Members of the European Parliament will vote on a controversial investment deal between the EU and Singapore. This treaty is very similar to the investment chapters of CETA, the unpopular trade deal between the EU and Canada which outraged people all over Europe in 2015 and 2016.
The US Congress has given the green light to start new trade negotiations with the European Union, raising concerns around potential impacts on EU agriculture.
While the European Commission is aiming for an industry-only deal, the US government is strongly pushing for agriculture to be included in any agreement. This would likely open up the same controversies around food safety and agriculture tariffs that helped sink previous EU-US trade talks.