President of the Walloon Government
14 October 2016
Mr President of the Walloon Government,
On behalf of Public Services International and 20 million public service workers worldwide, we commend your decision not to give full powers to the Belgian federal governement to sign the CETA trade agreement between the EU and Canada on 18th October 2016.
PSI has been campaigning intensively against the adoption of the CETA agreement, in partnership with EPSU (European Public Service Union), its Canadian affiliates and broad-based civil society coalitions all over Europe. PSI is not opposed to trade or an agreement with Canada – but we are extremely worried about these negotiations being held in secret for several years. We share the concern of the Walloon parliament with regard to the absence of a clear and definitive exclusion of public services of future liberalisation; the absence of social and environmental standards, accompanied by sanctions; the creation of special jurisdictions for foreign investors; the absence of guarantee of law and limitations to the capacity of national and local authorities to regulate in the general interest.
The fact that your government has received a document of a mere 8 pages to explain a treaty of 1600 pages is indeed not acceptable in any way. While this is clearly contempt of the elected institutions you represent on behalf of the European Commission, already voices are rising that call for even further disregard of the Belgian Constitution, which is shameful.
With this letter we express our appreciation and full support for the principal and democratic position you and the representatives of your region have taken. Stand strong – millions of Europeans and Canadians are counting on you now !
Thanks again for your vision for a common future,
Rosa PAVANELLI // General Secretary