05 November, 2016
Resolution on CETA and TTIP
Adopted by the UEF Federal Committee, 5 November 2016, Cologne

The UEF Federal Committee, meeting in Köln on November 5, 2016,

stressing

- that the fundamental feature of our world is global interconnection;
- that in an interconnected world peaceful coexistence at international level can only be guaranteed if peoples and states build effective cooperative agreements in a proper institutional framework and become able to live together and rule globalisation in a win-win perspective;
- that trying to roll globalisation back would leave everyone worse off;
- that the fear of globalisation,  together  with  the  temptations  to  fallback  into  protectionism  and nationalism, are fuelling a backlash against free trade and are reshaping politics in a populist and racist way;
- that in order to regain consensus to globalisation, as borders have been steadily opened up, specific policies are needed to complement the divergences that have risen; and a proper regulation of world trade is necessary to make globalisation fairer and more effective;
- that because the pace of world trade has slowed down in the last five years and WTO talks are stagnating, regional free trade agreements have become the necessary alternative route to trade liberalisation;


taking into consideration the process of negotiation of CETA and TTIP

recalls


- that these Treaties are the most important bilateral trade agreements ever negotiated by EU;
- that they both:

a. involve  countries  that  are  strategic  partners  for  Europe  not  only  economically,  but  also politically;
b. are indispensable for any Europe’s long-term  plan  to  promote  growth,  development  and employment;
c. are the only chance for Europe to affirm and preserve its status as a global standard-setter.

Having all the above in mind, the UEF Federal Committee:

- recalling the UEF resolution adopted by the FC in Brussels on April 17-18, 2015,

reaffirms:

a. its support to the continuation of the TTIP negotiations, underlining that if the current deadline (end 2016) proves impossible to be respected, it is in any case of the utmost importance that the Council reiterates the mandate to the European Commission to go on negotiating, supporting its role in the ongoing talks;
b. that if the EU had to abandon, or put in doubt, TTIP talks, it would be a dramatic defeat not only from the economic point of view, but overall from the political one, because it would inevitably strengthen the mood in favour of nationalist policies and bilateral agreements among Member states; and moreover it would signal, to the rest of the world, EU will to renounce to play a crucial role in shaping world trade rules and standards;

- stressing, as far as CETA is concerned,

a. the importance of the signature of this free trade pact between Europe and Canada achieved on October 30, after many uncertainties;
b. the lesson that European Union must learn from  the sequence of  events associated with this result, as CETA had already been negotiated by the European Commission on the basis of the Treaties’ provisions that recognize its exclusive competence on trade agreements; and the decision to consider it a mixed agreement, and thus to submit it to national unanimous ratifications, has been taken under the request of some national governments;
c. that this attitude by national governments has put in danger the agreement and shown the weakness of the EU governance, which gives a veto power in trade policies (negotiated to bring present and future benefits on a continental scale) to every  national  assembly - and even to some sub-national assemblies.
d. that, even more so after Brexit, this message from EU is devastating for its political endurance;

- urges
- that CETA be rapidly ratified by the European Parliament and enter immediately afterwards into force in a provisional way, without waiting for national ratifications.

The UEF Federal Committee invites

stakeholders, civil society in particular, to enter a European debate on how the latest generation comprehensive trade agreements can be developed in order to make global trade more sustainable, equitable, fair and ecologically viable, and warns the Heads of state and government, the European institutions representatives and the national Parliaments not to underestimate the consequences of the question of world trade for our democracies, our fundamental values and for the future of Europe;
reminds that if EU institutions were not able to let the CETA agreement enter into force by a foreseeable deadline, it would be like declaring that the European consensus in favour of open economies and of ruling globalisation is cracking, and that the Europeans are no longer reliable and credible interlocutors,

and calls on

the Heads of state and government and the European Parliament to take on the task of solving the EU current institutional vulnerability that hinders the possibility to deal with the many political challenges facing European citizens, by fuelling the process to build up a true political union.


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