Lobby tour EU-Colombia FTA: Colombian Activists in Europe

Speaker's Tour
14. March 2011 (All day) - 1. April 2011 (All day)

Between 14 March and 1 April 2011, 4 delegations of representatives from Colombian trade unions and civil society organisations toured various European member states to call attention to the ongoing adverse human rights situation in Colombia, the socio-economic impacts of the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Colombia and to call on European politicians not to ratify this FTA, in view of its negative development effect and because implementation of the agreement could be interpreted as a sign that there is no real pressure on the Colombian authorities to improve their human rights record.

Also, on the occasion of the lobby tour, a broad number of organisations from Europe have published the policy brief "Time for Europe to put values and human rights above commercial advantage. Why EU-Colombia/Peru Free Trade Agreements should not be ratified" available (english and spanish) for download from:www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/EU-Colombia-Peru-FTA%20Policy%20Brief.pdf

The table below lists the various delegations, the dates of their visit, the countries they visited and the meetings they attended.

Tour 1

Date of tour

Composition of delegation


capitals visited

Type of meetings

key responsible European CSO


14-18 March

Enrique Daza – Hemispheric Social Alliance (HSA) + Red Colombiana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio (RECALCA)


Meetings with MPs and CSOs




Bilateral meetings with MEPs (PPE, ALDE/ADLE, S&D, GUE/NGL, Greens/ALE)


Meeting with Permanent Representation of Spain


Event launching the Manifesto of the Latin American Social Movements criticising the EU’s FTAs with Latin America


Meeting with Belgian CSOs working on trade issues

OIDHACO, in cooperation with ALOP, CIFCA and Grupo Sur


Tour 2

Date of tour

Composition of delegation


capitals visited


key responsible European CSO


21 March – 1 April

María del Pilar Silva  - Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo)


Nohora Tovar -Fetramecol – CTC


Meetings with MPs and staff from various parties: Conservatives, Liberals, Social Democrats, Left and Greens


Several public events





Meetings with M(EPs from the Social Democratic Party, the Conservative Party, Greens


Public conference (80 participants; high level of debate)





Meetings with MPs, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Economic Affairs Committee scheduled, but cancelled at the last minute.


Meeting with MP for the party ‘Another Politics is Possible’, who is also vice-president  of the parliamentary HR Committee.


Civil Society Round table attended by 10 CSOs.


Meeting with 20 students of Economics at the local university.

VÉDEGYLET  EGYESÜLET /Protect the Future


Tour 3

Date of tour

Composition of delegation


capitals visited


key responsible European CSO


23 March – 1 April

Diógenes Orjuela  - CUT


Aura Rodríguez - Cactus


Meeting with the Commission for Cooperation and Solidarity of the Parliament of Catalunya.


Meeting with the interparliamentary group on Human Rights


Meeting with high-level civil servants in the Foreign Office and Trade Department


Meeting with trade unions


Public/CSO event, attended by 70 people.

Ecologistas en Acción



[report pending]



Tour 4

Date of tour

Composition of delegation


capitals visited


key responsible European CSO

21 March – 1 April

Gustavo Triana - CUT


Maria Victoria Forero  - CUT


Manuel Rodriguez Cardenas – RECALCA


Meetings with MPs/Senators from the Left Party, the Greens and the Communist Party.


Meeting with the “France-Colombia friendship Group” of National Assembly.


Meeting with Communist Party's foreign affairs experts


Two public/CSO conferences (attended by 20 and 40 people respectively)


Meeting with France’s main trade unions

AITEC et al.


Meetings with representatives of the federal parliaments


Meeting with trade union FGTB



Meeting with the President of the Council of Europe (Not to be confused with the European Council! The CoE is an international organisation in Strasbourg which comprises 47 countries of Europe. It was set up to promote democracy and protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe. www.coe.int )

Meetings with national MPs that represent their country in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


The Netherlands/Amsterdam & The Hague

Joint meeting with Parliamentary Committees on Economic Affairs, Agriculture & Innovation and Foreign Affairs (attended by Socialist Party and Christian Democrats)


Meeting with Labour Party MPs


Meeting with Christian Union MP


Joint meeting with civil servants from the Department of Economic Affairs, Agriculture & Innovation and the Foreign Office


Meeting with FNV 


TNI & Dutch Trade and Development Coalition (CEH)

Czech Republic/Prague

Meeting with vice-chair of Czech Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs


Meeting with Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Working Group on Latin America


Meeting with Ministry of Industry and Trade/Multilateral and Common Trade Policy Department


Meeting with Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS)


Lecture by Colombian delegate at Charles University of Prague




Public Conference