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The EU-Chile Trade Agreement: A challenge to European agriculture and global values

The EFA MEPs Lydie Massard, Diana Riba and Ana Miranda, spoke during the debate on the EU-Chile agreement, to raise their concerns over the implications for European farmers.

The European Union finds itself at a crossroads, grappling with a severe agricultural crisis that has sparked widespread farmer protests demanding urgent attention to ensure a decent income. The EU is on the verge of signing a trade agreement with Chile that has sparked concerns and opposition from many across the parliament, particularly EFA MEPs.

Lydie Massard, the Breton MEP who has been an advocate for farmers, points out a glaring issue with the trade agreement—massive increases in imports. The numbers are staggering: 9,000 tonnes of pork, 2,000 tonnes of beef, 4,000 tonnes of sheepmeat, and 18,000 tonnes of poultry. Despite claims by the European Commission that these quotas are limited, when combined with existing and recently introduced quotas, they pose a significant threat to European production. The fear is that this surge in imports will intensify the downward pressure on farmers' prices, exacerbating the existing agricultural crisis.

The agricultural crisis is raging within the European Union, marked by massive demonstrations by farmers calling for an urgent response to their main demand: the assurance of a decent income” MEP Massard said.

Massard also raised concerens about thethe importation of products that fail to meet European health standards. Poultry treated with antibiotics and growth promoters, banned in France since 2006 and in the EU since 2022, could enter European markets. Unfortunately, the commitments outlined in the agreement are non-binding, leaving a regulatory gap that could compromise the health and safety of consumers.

 “Together, they represent a substantial proportion of our European production. This production, with its unbeatable social cost, can only increase the relentless downward pressure on our farmers' prices.” She added.

The Catalan MEP Diana Riba raises broader concerns about the agreement's impact on labor rights, food sovereignty, the environment, and the security of the people. Riba argues against presenting the agreement as an opportunity for prosperity and growth, highlighting the threat it poses to essential aspects of society. The Greens/EFA group opposes trade agreements that harm the primary sector, insisting that trade should not come at the expense of the environment, human rights, and the well-being of the people.

“For weeks now our farmers, els nostres pagesos, have been asking for help. Can' t you see that?This group, the Greens/EFA, will always be on your side, and that is why our vote today is clear: we are voting against this agreement and all those free trade agreements that are lethally damaging to our primary sector.” Riba MEP said.

Ana Miranda, the Galizan EFA MEP concluded by drawing attention to the widespread social protest against the agreement in Chile. She highlights the lack of transparency and participation in the negotiation process, emphasizing that the agreement is not welcomed from a democratic standpoint. Miranda aligns herself with the 500 organizations in Chile that signed a manifesto against the agreement, emphasizing its adverse effects on indigenous peoples and the environment.

“This agreement is a free-for-all to transnational corporations, an agro-export and extractivist model which promotes the increase in the extraction of strategic materials such as copper and lithium. At the cost of what? At the cost of exploiting territories and biodiversity. What's more, the Orixinarian peoples were not consulted, the Mapuche people, the most neglected and with whom I worked for so many years, were expelled from their ancestral lands.” MEP Miranda concluded.

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Responsible MEPs

Lydie Massard
Lydie Massard
Member
Ana Miranda
Ana Miranda
Member
Diana Riba i Giner
Diana Riba i Giner
Member

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