Lobby tour EU-Colombia FTA: Colombian Activists in Europe

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

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

Countries/

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)

London

Meetings with MPs and CSOs

 

 

Brussels

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

Countries/

capitals visited

 

key responsible European CSO

 

21 March – 1 April

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

 

Nohora Tovar -Fetramecol – CTC

Germany

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

 

Several public events

WEED

FDCL

 

Austria

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

 

Public conference (80 participants; high level of debate)

ATTAC

S2B

 

Hungary

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

Countries/

capitals visited

 

key responsible European CSO

 

23 March – 1 April

Diógenes Orjuela  - CUT

 

Aura Rodríguez - Cactus

Spain

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

 

Bulgaria

[report pending]

MAIS

 

Tour 4

Date of tour

Composition of delegation

Countries/

capitals visited

 

key responsible European CSO

21 March – 1 April

Gustavo Triana - CUT

 

Maria Victoria Forero  - CUT

 

Manuel Rodriguez Cardenas – RECALCA

Paris

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.

Brussels

Meetings with representatives of the federal parliaments

 

Meeting with trade union FGTB

CNCD

Strasbourg

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.

TNI

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

 

Glopolis

Rome

Public Conference

MAIS