BARCELONA DECLARATION

We, the Mayors and elected local representatives, participating in the first Pan-European Meeting of Local Authorities and the New Generation of Free Trade Agreements, declare that:

The European Commission, on the mandate of the Member States, has entered into negotiation with the United States of America on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement (TTIP), as well as the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and Europe (CETA), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). These treaties are being negotiated in a non-transparent manner, not fulfilling European democratic and participatory standards.

We believe that transparency cannot be sacrificed to the benefit of trade secrecy. Local and regional bodies must play an integral part in the negotiation of the mandates. Today, Europe finds itself at a crossroads. The crises being experienced by the EU require a political solution. As such, we believe that Europe needs to place core values at the centre of its policy: solidarity, respect of freedoms and justice. These new generation trade agreements are doubtfully beneficial to society as a whole. Europe must underpin its economy by strengthening social, economic, environmental and employment rights and not merely by widening free trade.

We are deeply concerned that these treaties will put at risk our capacity to legislate and use public funds (including public procurement), severely damaging our task to aid people in basic issues such as: housing, health, environment, social services, education, local economic development or food safety.

We are also alarmed about the fact that these pacts will jeopardise democratic principles by substantially reducing political scope and constraining public choices. The implementation of a range of measures will gravely impact on local democracy, such as the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) or International Court System (ICS). Regulatory Cooperation in TTIP, and changes made to the regulation of government procurement and public services.

We recognise the importance of the trade of goods and services for citizen well-being, but we stress that competitiveness and economic growth should not be the only criteria used to determine free trade agreements such as TTIP, CETA and others (such as TISA).

We believe that international trade must be based on criteria that is not limited to mere free trade. We must defend trade which is fair, sustainable, and which upholds labour rights. We consider it our duty, as elected representatives, to defend local communities and democratic institutions as spaces for debate and decision-making, and to strengthen public policies for the good of our citizens, protecting the environment and supporting SMEs and the local economy.

We demand that current negotiations on TTIP and TiSA be suspended until the concerns of local and regional governments have fully taken into account in the ratification in any of these treaties.

We celebrate the social movement which has made this European debate possible and we want to give them due recognition for their role and we invite them to continue their work. For all these considerations, we demand that current negotiations on TTIP and TISA be suspended and a new mandate renegotiated taking into account the demands of those who have not been consulted and we urge the European Parliament, European Council and national governments not to ratify CETA.

This Declaration will be adopted by all cities present and to be signed by all those who shall adhere to it in the future, will be presented to those responsible in the European Union, national governments, and pertinent institutions and organisations.

Barcelona, 21 April 2016

 


 

This declaration has been signed by the following cities:

  1. Ayn
  2. Badalona
  3. Barcelona
  4. Birmingham
  5. Bissières
  6. Bruxelles
  7. Castelldefels
  8. Celje
  9. Cerdanyola
  10. Choisy le Roi
  11. Colognac
  12. Corfu
  13. Corsican Assembly
  14. Cubelles
  15. Egaleo
  16. Eivissa
  17. El Prat del Llobregat
  18. Fingal
  19. Gavà
  20. Gilena
  21. Gorna Malina
  22. Granollers
  23. Grenoble
  24. Köln
  25. L'Ametlla
  26. La Buisse
  27. La Coruña
  28. La Lucerne d'Outremer
  29. La Vall d'Uixó
  30. Liège
  31. Locoal-Mendon
  32. Madrid
  33. Mallorca
  34. Manresa
  35. Manspach
  36. Massillargues-Atuech
  37. Mataró
  38. Mereto di Tomba
  39. Mérida
  40. Montpezat
  41. Nangis
  42. Napoli
  43. Parla
  44. Rakitovo
  45. Remilly en Montagne
  46. Rivas Vaciamadrid
  47. Rochegude
  48. Rottenburg
  49. Saint Sever de Rustan
  50. Saint-Basile
  51. Sevilla
  52. Sóller
  53. St Genies de Malgoires
  54. Tolla
  55. València
  56. Vinaròs
  57. Watermael- Boitsfort
  58. Wien
  59. Xàtiva
  60. Καρδίτσα

 

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