Asia Europe People's Forum, Belgian Platform for Action on Health and Solidarity, Corporate Europe Observatory, India FDI Watch, Programme on Women's Economic Social and Cultural Rights, WIDE network Tuesday 5 October 2010, 10-11 am Residence Palace – International Press Centre (Room Salon, ground floor) Rue de la Loi 155 – Bloc C – 1040 Brussels On Tuesday, 5 October 2010, Indian and European civil society groups and movements will highlight the lack of transparency and business bias in the talks between the EU and India on a free trade agreement, and the threat to livelihoods it represents. They will call for an immediate halt to the negotiations which resume behind closed doors on 6-8 October 2010. The negotiations aim at a trade deal which seeks to increase access to markets but will expose farmers, street vendors, and small businesses to crushing competition and lead to livelihood losses and increased pressure on labour standards. Plans to strengthen intellectual property rights will endanger the availability of affordable drugs for the treatment of AIDS, malaria and cancer. Women will be worst affected by the agreement. Speakers: Dharmendra Kumar, director of India FDI Watch, based in Delhi, co-author of the report “Trade Invaders. How Big Business is Driving the EU-India Trade Negotiations”, September 2010 Wim De Ceukelaire, MD, Belgian Platform for Action on Health and Solidarity, co-author of the platform's report “The EU's bilateral FTA Negotiations are a Threat to the Right to health”, April 2010 Priti Darooka, Executive Director of PWESCR, a human rights organisation addressing issues connected with women’s poverty Facilitation: Christa Wichterich, journalist Press conference language: English Languages available for interviews: English, French, Dutch, German For more information, contact: Natalie Giorgadze (WIDE): ++32 2 545 90 70, email@example.com Kathy Cumming (Asia Europe People's Forum): ++31 657 184 159, firstname.lastname@example.org Please find venue access and location information here: http://www.residencepalace.be/en/wegbeschrijving.html
Press Conference - EU-India Trade Talks
A new joint report from Corporate Europe Observatory and India FDI Watch reveals how, in the negotiations for a trade deal between the EU and India, the EU Commission and the Indian government have handed the agenda over to corporate lobby groups. This big-business-first agenda will put at risk the livelihoods of millions of small farmers, street traders and patients. The report shows how negotiators on both sides have entered into a symbiotic working relationship with big corporations and their lobby groups. It shines a light on the dense web of corporate advisory bodies, working groups and secret consultation channels through which business can exercise undue influence over trade-policy making in the EU and India. And it explains the human consequences of the corporate trade agenda in fields such as intellectual property rights, retail, agriculture and manufacturing.
Civil society groups today urged the European Commission and Indian Government to halt free trade negotiations, scheduled to continue in Delhi tomorrow. In an open letter, signed by more than 100 groups, they warned that the talks would damage the livelihoods of millions of people in both India and Europe, exacerbating poverty and undermining economic and social development.
The EU's General Court has announced a date for the judgement in Corporate Europe Observatory's legal action, suing the European Commission for withholding information related to the EU’s free trade talks with India. The Commission is accused of discriminating in favour of corporate lobby groups and of violating the EU’s transparency rules. The judgement will be delivered on 7 June 2013.
The EU's General Court has announced a date for the hearing for Corporate Europe Observatory's legal action, suing the EU Commission for withholding information related to the EU’s free trade talks with India. The Commission is accused of discriminating in favour of corporate lobby groups and of violating the EU’s transparency rules. The case will be heard in Luxembourg on 11 January 2012.
In a ruling delivered today following a lawsuit by lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory, the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg concludes that the European Commission did not violate EU rules when withholding information about the EU-India free trade talks from the public, even though it had already shared the information with corporate lobby groups. Corporate Europe Observatory warns that this decision risks deepening the secrecy around EU trade negotiations and legitimises the Commission’s practice of granting corporate lobby groups privileged access to its policy-making, at the expense of the wider public interest.
Corporate Europe Observatory
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making.