CPE Coordination Paysanne Européenne European Farmers Coordination Coordinadora Campesina Europea --- Member of Via Campesina ---
herunder the position of CPE after the failure of WTO negotiations in Cancun
PRESS RELEASE Brussels, September 16, 2003
Failure of WTO negociations in Cancun :
Victory of those who denounced the basis of negociations
European Union entrapped in swindling decoupling of agricultural support: CAP reform is stillborn.
Brazil, India and China defend their export companies’ interests, and not those of their huge populations.
Opportunity to reconsider rules of international trade
Debate to clarify agricultural support is of paramount importance
as a tribute to Lee Kyong Hae
The breakdown of WTO negociations in Cancun is predominantly the failure of all companies that regard the planet as a mere marketplace, where they can produce at the cheapest places and sell at the most expensive ones. The victory of Cancun is the victory of the populations that have managed to be heard on the streets and by the governments, through their farmers’ organizations within Via Campesina, as well as through social movements and NGO’s in the ‘our world is not for sale’ network. The dynamics launched in Seattle is up and running, despite repression.
After 25 years of « free »- trading ideology, which has been completely unable to solve the problems of our planet, or even to increase the economic activity (world growth lower in 1980-2000), it is high time to take stock of the situation and to follow another path. When will WTO dare to make a precise assessment of the Uruguay Round?
Cancun gives the governments a chance to reconsider the rules of international trade, not along the way that large northern or southern big exporting countries wish, but the way their own populations claim . A group ef economists has just worked out a draft for an alternative agricultural agreement (www.tradeobservatory.org) based on food sovereignty, ready for a negociation if governments want to draw the best lessons of Cancun. As CPE had warned, the untenable position of the European Union in the agricultural negociations has washed away a great deal of their credibility: one cannot lie with complete impunity. Now, whether Commissioners Lamy and Fischler like it or not, it is urgent to revise thoroughly the chapter of agricultural prices and support in Europe and on an international level, which the EU and US agricultural policies have made confusing.
One cannot export below the production costs, which is possible with the decoupled direct payments, and pretend not to be disrupting the world market.
Agricultural support may be legitimate as long as they are not used to export at low prices.
The CAP reform of June 2003, adopted for Cancun, is thus null and void. CAP must be re-constructed from another basis, as proposed by CPE and several national platforms.