Observing a manifestation against “multinational tyranny”

13 10 2014

On Saturday, there were protests across Europe against two agreements involving the EU. The protests were against the ongoing TAFTA talks (Transatlantic Free Trade Area, between the US and the EU) and the recently signed but not yet ratified CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, between Canada and Europe). There were even protests in Switzerland, which isn’t part of the EU but which would be affected by the agreements as it is part of the European Free Trade Association.

A former student who now lives in the Geneva, Mira Fey, has posted some observations about the protest that took place in Geneva’s CBD.

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4 responses

13 10 2014
Mira Fey

Thank you for sharing, Andrew! I would be interested in your thought on the Canada-EU agreement.

13 10 2014
andrewdsmith

I’ve blogged about the Canada-EU agreement, but not recently. I also organized a conference on CETA that took place in London back in 2011. Thanks for prompting me to re-engage with this issue– I’ll write a post about recent developments in the next few days.

Canada’s current government has, I’m told, under-invested in diplomatic resources. One of the consequences of the cutbacks in the budget for economic diplomacy is that there have been massive delays in the negotiation of the Canada-EU trade agreement. CETA is supported by pretty much the entire political spectrum in Canada and by both language groups. Despite this support, the agreement might not be ratified due to a lack of diplomatic resources.

13 10 2014
Mira Fey

That sounds really interesting, the opinions seem quite different then to Europe. However, I have the impression that the opposition leading to the demonstrations here are more related to TAFTA and a fear of a US-dominance in European affairs. I think this sentiment is not that strong against Canada, but the agreement is also used as further example of potentially harmful transatlantic trade agreements. This idea is just based on my impression though.
I look forward to reading your post!

13 10 2014
andrewdsmith

To be honest, I don’t think that a trade agreement between Europe and Canada would motivate many protestors, aside from animal rights activists. I think the real grievance is with the trade talks with the United States.

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