Declaration of the second pan-European meeting of TTIP-free zones
60 years after its creation, the European Union is now at a crossroads. The different crises facing the EU call for a political response. Faced with such a situation, it must put its fundamental values at the heart of its actions : solidarity, respect of basic freedoms and justice. New-generation free-trade agreements are only beneficial to a minority in our societies. They go against the most fundamental rights and accelerate the ecological crisis at the expense of future generations. These agreements directly threaten our capacity to build better societies and lives for us all ; to build a socially and environmentally sustainable economy ; the right of citizens to play a central role in democracy, while protecting our regions as commons. The urgency in Europe is to strengthen its economy by reinforcing social, economic, environmental and labour rights – as opposed to further deregulation of markets.
We, mayors and elected representatives of the cities and regions gathered in Grenoble on February 17 2017 at the 2nd pan-European meeting of cities against FTAs :
- Acknowledge the ratification of CETA by the European Parliament on the February 15 2017, signifying its temporary application ; we stand united and determined in our decision to fight it, and call upon national governments of member-States to reject the treaty.
- Local mobilisations must grow more than ever during national ratification periods as democratic debates gain momentum, as negative impacts of this treaty will be felt locally ; citizens can engage in concrete ways, and we will work to achieve this with partner organizations and communities, and continue to expand our network of cities and regions.
- Only rebuilding democracy and reinventing the relationship with citizens can fight the rise of nationalist and xenophobic ideas – which free-trade deals have largely contributed to. It is time to move from opposition to propositions. We will affirm and build the world that we want to see today.
- Thousands of initiatives are already set in motion all around us, in cities and regions : we aim to strengthen the cooperation and solidarity between elected representatives, regions, civil society and local economic actors, to promote the necessary alternatives to initiate the transition and pave the way to a fairer world.
- In order to resist the deregulation of trade and investment, cities and regions must strengthen their resilience and capacity to cooperate to reclaim common goods, find ways to boost local employment, preserve organic agriculture, protect ecosystems, in particular by re-municipalising public services, and by putting forth sustainable and responsible public procurement.
- We want to define and promote the rules for fair and sustainable trade, in the interest of all – and not only a few.
We, mayors and elected representatives of the cities and regions, gathered in Grenoble on this February 17 2017, aim to contribute to rebuilding Europe together, from the regions, and in cooperation with the citizens that make its strength and energise it, in a democratic and popular way. Another governance is possible, indeed it is already in motion.
We commit ourselves to communicating this declaration, put forward by participant cities and regions, to the authorities of the European Union, national governments, and relevant organizations and institutions.