Before the parliamentary session: broad front against Mercosur


Before the National Council debate on Wednesday on the Mercosur trade agreement, the SPÖ, AK, ÖGB and numerous environmental organizations once again emphasized their rejection of the planned pact between the EU and South America. Despite various additional declarations that the EU has been working on since last autumn, the government should not soften its position, so the call of the Mercosur critics.

A motion for a resolution by the ÖVP and the Greens on the EU-Mercosur trade agreement is up for vote in parliament.  The  SPÖ fears that “this is a first step towards approval of Mercosur through the back door. But it needs a no to the agreement without ifs and buts.”

© The  Chamber of Labor (AK) and the trade union (ÖGB) see the agreement as a “disaster, both for employees and for climate protection and the environment,” it said in a joint broadcast. © The  additional declarations being worked on by the EU Commission are “ineffective sedative pills because they do not change the text of the contract,” said ÖGB President Wolfgang Katzian.

© The  globalization-critical organization Attac also regards the additional agreements as “insubstantial”, but at the same time sees a risk that this could increase the pressure on the domestic government to agree to the agreement. Attac demands that the government should speak out against the agreement in its current form tomorrow.

Global 2000 agrees: “No means no, the government is also obliged by a National Council decision of 2019 to ‘take all measures at European level to prevent the conclusion of the Mercosur Agreement.’ We demand that, “said Agnes Zauner, managing director of Global 2000.

Greenpeace, the Dreikönigsaktion, Fridays for Future, and Vier Pfoten are also pounding in an open letter to the National Council to stick to their position of 2019 and “not to take any new decisions on this matter”. © The  government should not open “back doors” for the agreement by weakening its clear no, said Alexander Egit of Greenpeace.

A No to the Mercosur Agreement has been anchored in the turquoise-green government program. © The  reason given is that the pact does not comply with European standards. © The  import of agricultural products into the EU should not contribute to measures that are harmful to the environment or the climate or violations of human rights in third countries. Austria is not the only state that speaks out against Mercosur; resistance is also coming from France and the Netherlands. In order to change the mind of the critics, the EU Commission has been preparing several additional documents since autumn.

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