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The politics of Globalization and public services: putting EU´s trade and investment agenda in its place

We are pleased to invite you to participate in a joint EPSU/ETUC/OGB/AK seminar on public services and trade, on 14 November 2013 in Brussels.

The treatment of public services in free trade and investment agreements is subject to fierce but rarely public debate. This becomes especially true against the backdrop of a new generation of marketization projects that go well beyond what was being tabled in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) until now.

Projects like the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (“TTIP”), the Comprehensive Economic Integration Agreement between the EU and Canada (“CETA”) or the recent initiative by a “coalition of the willing” (including i.a. the US, Canada, Australia, the EU and others) for a plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement (“TISA”) emphasize a new challenge to safeguard basic needs such as energy and water distribution, disposal, education, health or social services against offensive commercial interests and tightened market rules.

This seminar will build on the EPSU/AK/OGB Seminar “Trading away Public Services?” (autumn 2011 http://www.epsu.org/a/8045) and ETUC and ITUC positions on trade and investment (see http://www.epsu.org/a/9736). It will aim to strengthen capacity building for a better protection of public services in EU´s external policies. What can we do together at European, national and local level to make sure that trade and investment agreements support quality public services, ‘more and better’ jobs, and sustainable development?

Invited experts include Markus Krajewski University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Scott Sinclair, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Deborah James, Center for Economic and Policy Research and Christoph Scherrer, University of Kassel.

Below you will find a first draft agenda.

EPSU has the possibility to support financially the participation of a small number of colleagues actively engaged with trade issues in accordance with the EPSU rules. Please contact Anneke Krijger (akrijger@epsu.org) for further information.

Interpretation will be provided into and from English and French, with passive German and Spanish.

Please fill in and return the participation form (here) to the EPSU secretariat (akrijger@epsu.org) by 7 November at the latest.
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