Why should you support the Alternative Trade Mandate ?
Some responses in video
During the ATM launch event organized in Brussels, 26-27 Nov. 2013, the ATM Alliance asked to some activists, MEPs and members of national Parliaments taking part in the Assembly and in the March for alternatives to explain why they support the Alternative Trade Mandate.
The ATM document is out !
Download the document here : TRADE: time for a new vision The Alternative Trade Mandate in english
Spanish version available : Por una nueva perspectiva frente al comercio – Mandato de Comercio Alternativo
Over 50 civil society groups demand a paradigm shift in EU trade and investment policies
Today, a European alliance of over 50 civil society organisations  will launch the Alternative Trade Mandate , a proposal to make EU trade and investment policy work for people and the planet, not just the profit interests of a few. The launch is taking place as EU trade ministers and the European Commission are leaving for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations in Bali next week.
“The current trade and investment regime, imposed by the EU and the WTO, isn’t working. Prising markets open for global agri-business is wiping out small farmers and is a major cause of hunger. The deregulation of financial services through free trade agreements impedes tough regulation of the financial sector, paving the way for the next disastrous financial crisis. We need to break away from this corporate driven agenda,” says Charles Santiago, a member of the Malaysian parliament, who is in Brussels to support the launch of the Alternative Trade Mandate.
The new 20-page mandate proposes that core principles such as human and labour rights and environmental protection should drive EU trade policy. On several areas, such as food, work, money and raw materials, detailed proposals for change are outlined. One proposal is for the EU to become more self-sufficient in protein and oil crops as alternatives to imports of (genetically-modified) soybeans, palm oil and agrofuels, which are devastating for the environment and small farmers in the global south. The mandate also calls on the EU to hold European corporations accountable for human rights violations, environmental destruction, tax avoidance and tax evasion elsewhere.
The mandate also proposes a new process for initiating, negotiating and finalising trade and investment agreements, giving national Parliaments and civil society a stronger role and thereby rolling back policy-capture by big business.
“EU trade deals are negotiated behind closed doors in the interests of a few rich corporations. The people who are affected by these deals have never been asked what they really need. We want an open and democratic process, controlled by the people of Europe and their elected representatives, rather than unelected technocrats and corporate lobby groups,” says Pia Eberhardt from Corporate Europe Observatory, a member of the Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance.
The proposals outlined in the Alternative Trade Mandate were developed in a four-year process, with public workshops held all over Europe and which engaged a wide range of civil society groups from both within and outside the EU.
A series of papers with more detailed proposals on several pressing issues accompanies the main text . The proposals will form the basis of an EU-wide campaign to make trade and investment work for people and the environment, which will first focus on the European elections next May, asking parliamentary candidates to pledge support for the Alternative Trade Mandate.
“At a time of multiple global crises, the European Parliament needs MEPs who will stand up for trade rules that work for people and the planet. We need MEPs who will bring trade deals out of the shadows and into the light. We call on MEP candidates to stand up for democratic trade and investment rules that serve people, the economy and the environment at large – not just the profit interests of a few,” says Amélie Canonne, co-ordinator of the Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance.
The Alternative Trade Mandate will be launched in Brussels during an assembly this afternoon, where speakers from the global south, crisis-struck countries in Europe, trade unions, migrant groups and the European Parliament will comment on the proposals. Tomorrow, a “walk of resistance and alternatives” will take place through the EU quarter .
Amélie Canonne, coordinator of the Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance [FR], [EN]
Pia Eberhardt, Corporate Europe Observatory [DE], [EN]
 Current members of the Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance are:
Afrika Kontakt (Denmark), Arbeitsgemeinschaft Bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (Germany), AITEC (France), Attac Austria, Attac Germany, Attac Spain, CNCD (Belgium), Colibri (Germany), Comhlamh (Ireland), Corporate Europe Observatory (Belgium), Ecologistas en Accion (Spain), European Milkboard, Fair Trade Advocacy Office (Belgium), Fairwatch (Italy), FDCL (Germany), FIAN Germany, Food & Water Europe, Germanwatch (Germany), Misereor (Germany), No Patents on Life! (Germany), Oxfam Germany, Philippinenbuero (Germany), Platform Aarde Boer Consument (Earth, Farmer, Consumer – Netherlands), Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations in Europe, PowerShift (Germany). Seattle to Brussels Network, SOMO (Netherlands), Terra Nuova (Italy), Trade Justice Movement (UK), Transnational Institute (Netherlands), Trocaire (Ireland), Vedegylet (Hungary), War on Want (UK), WEED (Germany), World Development Movement (UK), Za Zemiata (Bulgaria), 11.11.11. (Belgium)
Our supporter organisations: Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN), Afrikagrupperna (Sweden), Attac Denmark, CEE Bankwatch Network (headquatered in the Czech Republic), Dutch section of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF – Netherlands), European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), FAIR TRADE HELLA (Greece), FIOM-CGIL (Metalworkers Federation – Italy), Glopolis (Czech Republic), Traidcraft (UK), Transnational Migrant Platform (TMP)
 Download the Alternative Trade Mandate at: http://www.alternativetrademandate.org/news/2013/11/the-atm-document-is-out/
 Download the issue specific papers on democracy, food & agriculture as well as investment at: http://www.alternativetrademandate.org/news/2013/05/atm-democracy-consultation-outcome-paper/
 For more information on the assembly and the “walk of resistance and alternatives” visit: http://www.alternativetrademandate.org
No backroom deals for the 1% ! Walk of Resistance and alternatives, 27th of Nov. in Brussels
Join us for a “walk of resistance and alternatives” through the EU quarter, demanding a paradigm shift in EU trade and investment policy on the morning of 27 November
As part of the launch of the “Alternative Trade Mandate”, activists and campaigners from all over Europe will organise a 2-hour “walk of resistance and alternatives” through the EU quarter. They will stop at hotspots of current EU trade policy-making with banners, posters and protest songs, while outlining an alternative vision of EU trade and investment policy that works for people and the planet.
A week before the global trade talks in the WTO in Bali
Wednesday, 27 November, 09:30 – 12:00
We will start in the centre of the Schuman Roundabout, between the European Commission’s Berlaymont building, the Council’s main building and the External Action Service, right at the Schuman metro station.
The walk will end in front of the European Parliament, in the middle of Place Luxembourg.
The current trading system isn’t working. Tons of food – often unsafe – gets thrown away while millions of people go hungry. Deregulated banks have brought the economic system to the brink of collapse. Very high demand for resources is destroying our planet whilst threatening the livelihoods of the most vulnerable in society.
EU trade policy has played a significant role in causing and exacerbating the current crises in our economy, food, energy and the environment. But the recent launch of the EU-US trade negotiations shows that the EU wants more of the same, namely destructive trade agreements which eliminate social and environmental safeguards in pursuit of corporate profit.
We’ve been told that this is the only way out of the crisis. But we don’t believe it.
We’ve been told that there is no alternative. But we know there is.
And we are developing it.
WHAT TO BRING?
Yourself. Your colleagues and friends. Your rage. Your messages, on banners, posters, stickers, your T-Shirt. Your songs. And warm clothes – it’s nearly December…
Join us for the Launch of the Alternative Trade Mandate campaign ! 26/27 November, Brussels
The ATM belief is that Europe’s trade has to be fundamentally changed. Our alternative respects human rights, and is democratically controlled by parliamentarians and the public. It’s ecological, respects gender equality and creates justice between countries, social classes and ethnicities. We propose a trade policy that increases economic, social and environmental well-being globally.
We are planning:
And don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further information on the event and its practical aspects !
See logistical information – maps, potential accomodation… – here : Logistical Information for ATM launch event 26-27nov2013