Discussing common ground and strategies for cooperation to defend democracy and social rights, GUE/NGL MEPs Eleonora Forenza and Malin Björk have joined NGOs and social movements at the Sabir festival of culture and politics on the island of Lampedusa.
“It’s clear we have a common purpose with social movements in aiming to defeat damaging EU free trade agreements, tackling climate change, inequality and the general trend towards the privatization of public and common goods,” Eleonora Forenza said. “Over the next year the decisive issue will be the TTIP – how we mobilise on that problem will be pivotal. Together we can defeat this dreadful scheme!” she held in a debate titled ‘Shared challenges: out of the crises with true democracy, commons and dignity.”
The discussion between the elected representatives and speakers from environmental groups, trade unions and think tanks from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East centred on the continuing TTIP free trade talks between the EU and the US, and the approaching COP climate change summit in Paris at the end of 2015.
Malin Björk highlighted the importance of preventing agreements like TTIP, but also putting forward an alternative trade mandate. “At the heart of the issue of migration are issues like conflict, trade injustice and inequality. We need to develop concrete alternatives – grounded in human rights and social justice – to the prevailing disastrous order.”
The delegation also met with MigrEurop, a European and African activist and research network which fights for open access to dentention centres and against the detention of migrants in general.
Later today the group will join representatives of the associations of missing and deceased migrants and will take part in commemorations of the anniversary of the deaths of over 300 migrants in a major boat disaster in October 2013 (group statement to follow).
The GUE/NGL group is made up of 52MEPs from across Europe working for peace, solidarity, social justice, equality, democracy and human rights in Europe and beyond. It is the only gender balanced group in the European Parliament.
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group