International CETA Speaking Tour
Monday 9th November
7.30pm Liberty Hall
EU TRADE deals such as CETA and TTIP are a threat to Irish water, public services, food standards, environment and democracy, international experts will tell a Dublin audience Monday.
World-renowned Canadian author and activist Maude Barlow, a former senior UN advisor on water and an expert on Canada’s recently completed agreement with the EU, will be the main speaker at an event at Liberty Hall, Monday at 7.30pm. [A more detailed biographical note on Barlow is below.]
That deal, called the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), is the less well-known cousin of TTIP, the EU-US ‘free’ trade and investment deal currently being drafted. Negotiations on CETA are closed: if adopted by the European parliament early next year, it would allow companies to sue governments for compensation in a private arbitration called ISDS when they say that laws interfere with their profits.
Barry Finnegan, one of the meeting’s organisers, said: “The completed CETA trade deal is the first EU treaty to include an approach to services liberalisation through ‘negative lists’. This means that all categories of the services sector, including water, education and health, will be opened to competition and competitive private-sector tendering, except those services that have been explicitly excluded in the ‘negative list’ at the start of negotiations.
“The text of CETA, now available online, clearly shows that the Irish Government has not excluded water, health or education services from the enforced privatisation and tendering rules of CETA,” Finnegan said.
Barlow is joined at Monday’s event by Patricia King, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), and Polly Jones, head of policy and campaigns at Global Justice Now.
Barlow is speaking around Europe on a tour coordinated by Global Justice Now. It has included Dundee (Nov. 1), Leeds (Nov. 3), London (Nov. 5), Oxford (Nov. 6), Cardiff (Nov. 7). After Dublin on Monday, she moves on to Madrid (Nov. 10-11), Barcelona (Nov. 12), Vienna (Nov. 16-17), Karlsruhe (Nov. 24-25) and Paris (Nov. 29).
Monday’s event is co-organised by Attac Ireland, Peoples’ Movement, and TTIP Information Network. For further information, see http://www.attac.ie/event/
Maude Barlow has some availability for media interviews in Ireland. Contact (not for publication): Barry Finnegan, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Journalism and Media Communications, Griffith College; and researcher with ATTAC Ireland: 085 1423 454
MAUDE BARLOW is national chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a board member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. She is the recipient of twelve honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club (US). In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 17 books, including her latest, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever.