Belgian unions demand non-ratification of EU-Colombia free trade agreement.
Belgian unions demand from their politicians not to ratify the bilateral agreement between EU and Colombia considering numerous violations of trade union and human rights as well as recent exposure of espionage activities of Colombian intelligence service DAS in Belgium.
BELGIUM: In light of a bilateral trade agreement negotiated between European Union and Colombia, Belgian trade union organizations CSC, FGTB and CGSLB as well as numerous non-governmental organizations belonging to the Belgian coalition for decent work demand proper investigation into cases of espionage committed by the Columbian intelligence service DAS in Belgium as recently revealed by world mass media.
The coalition of labour and NGO organizations also raised the issue of Colombia's atrocious record on human and trade union rights with 2,742 assassinations of unionists over the last 15 years and impunity in 95 per cent of crimes committed against unionists, as well as numerous cases of attacks on fundamental freedoms of the population in Colombia.
Considering the terrible situation with trade union and human rights in Colombia and weak language of the clauses regarding decent work in the bilateral agreement negotiated between EU and Colombia, Belgian trade unions strongly opposed to the ratification of the bilateral investment agreement between the EU and Colombia signed by the Belgian minister of foreign affairs in 2009, which was consequently blocked by the Parliaments of Flanders and Wallonia and later by the Belgian federal government.
However, despite similar agreements with Colombia being rejected by the U.S., Canada and Norway for the reasons of grave human and trade unions violations, the EU continues negotiations with Colombia.
Belgian trade unions addressed their politicians demanding they use their power and block the agreement, support the views of John Monks, General Secretary of the European Confederation of Trade Unions who said, "Now that some governments are even suspending aid transfers to Colombia in response to the illegal activities of DAS, it is crystal clear that there is no credible way these negotiations can be concluded in this manner."May 25, 2010 – Alex Ivanou