Campaigners to lobby government and embassies over 'unfair' trade deals

By staff writers
April 10, 2007

Campaigners are to gather next week to lobby European embassies and the UK government to put a stop to unfair trade deals between Europe and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Hundreds of supporters of the Trade Justice Movement (TJM), a coalition of aid and development organisations, environment campaigns, Fairtrade organisations, trade unions and faith groups, will gather in London next Thursday April 19.

Their action will be one of a number of similar events taking place across Europe and Africa.

Participants will be calling on Germany, as the current holder of the EU Presidency, to use its influence to make sure Economic Partnership Agreements do not go ahead in their current form.

The UK group will meet outside the German Embassy in Belgrave Square in London and then to on to other European embassies, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the European Commission.

As well as the usual banners and speeches from European and African participants, there will be a symbolic handover of keys and padlocks. The message campaigners are hoping Chancellor Angela Merkel will hear is: "Europe: Don't lock Africa in poverty".

Trade Justice Movement Coordinator, Glen Tarman, said: "Millions of people across the UK and around the world are concerned about the way trade is deepening global injustice and poverty. Unfair trade rules keep millions of people in poverty and harm our environment. Europe's leaders must not go ahead with new trade deals that will make poverty worse."

The group argues that the current proposals from the European Union go far beyond what is being negotiated at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and could destroy livelihoods and the environment and undermine future economic growth.

TJM members such as CAFOD, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, Tearfund and Traidcraft are calling on people to join the lobby.

Those interested in taking part can find out more and register at

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