Thursday, January 15, 2015

Democracy in action

It seems the EU Commission is in secret negotiations with the US and Canada on rules to harm consumers and governments and benefit US & Multinational corporations. Secret as in they refused for a long time to tell the public what they were doing - even when the EU Parliament demanded to know, earlier in the process. And now that they have been rumbled, they are emitting clouds of spin, managed by specially recruited corporate lobbyists.

Here are some articles from the Independent and the Guardian And the Guardian has an article here about the similar Trans-Pacific treaty:

Some details have leaked. Things like:- give multinationals the right to sue if consumer protection or public health laws cost them money - set up special courts for multinationals, run by corporate lawyers - make it harder for states to regulate things like fracking or genetic modification - weaken financial regulation - (And in the Trans-Pacific treaty, also unknown new rules on tobacco, requested by industry - export subsidies only to be allowed for USA producers - reduced protection for users and consumers from copyright and patent law, and criminalisation of even accidental, non-commercial infringement).

I don't think it is healthy, in a democracy, for laws to come out of secret negotiations with the corporate sector. Negotiations from which anyone who represents civil society, or anyone who advocates the common good, is barred.

Petition on the Stop TTIP site, here:

For UK folk, a link to write to your MP, MEPs, MLAs here:

But hey, I could be wrong. Maybe the finance sector has become suddenly honest and public-spirited. Maybe corporations are now putting other people first. Maybe the US government is trying to help the rest of the world, and its own people, rather than those who fund its re-election campaigns.

Tell me what you think...

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