Trade provides an important channel for developing countries to grow their economies and achieve sustainable development and poverty reduction objectives. But, the type of trade liberalisation and market opening strategies that the EU pursues however has resulted in weakening the economies of many developing countries by destroying local agriculture, local market and industry, and accelerating environmental degradation. It is therefore essential that the EU redesigns its trade policy and adopts one that meets the sustainable development needs and respects human rights, democratic principles, environment and social justice.
It is time to STOP and LISTEN to alternative proposals coming from developing country governments and civil society and to afford greater consideration to these proposals when re-thinking EU trade policy.
The policy report highlights southern proposals for alternative trade policies that best serve the needs of local populations and the environment. It intends to inform and influence future EU policy formulation in trade and investment so that such policies lead to economically, socially and environmentally sustainable outcomes for all.
The report focuses on alternative proposals around natural resources notably agriculture, land, water and raw materials. This focus reflects the fact that natural resources have become increasingly prominent in trade and investment policies and also their central role in pro-poor and sustainable development.
The policy report "Southern Alternatives to EU Trade Policy", published by WEED, Comhlamh and AITEC, is comprised of eight diverse papers of southern authors. The papers describe the impacts of EU trade policy in four different areas (Agriculture, Water Supply, Raw Materials, Regional Integration) and discuss alternative proposals, approaches and concepts. Each paper is in a third part giving recommendations how trade policy needs to change to accommodate the alternative proposals, to different actors like local or national policy , civil society and EU trade policy itself.
Articles in the Policy Report:
Proposals on Agriculture, trade, food-sovereignty and agroecology
Land Justice: Proposals for land reform and access to agricultural land for poor families in Zambia
Water Justice: Alternatives to commercialization of water in Asia
Mining justice In Africa: Alternatives on resource trade & access to information
Mining, People and Environment: Implications of the EU-India FTA
Critics of extractivism and transition towards post-extractive societies in Latin America
Alternative trade policies from Latin America; A response to the EU’s free trade agenda
Towards an Alternative Trade Mandate for EU policy: The case against EPAs