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IV EU-Latin America-Caribbean Summit ended
19
Apr '08
More than 80 trade union leaders from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean ended the IV EU-Latin America-Caribbean trade union summit in Lima (Peru) by calling for stronger economic, political and social dimensions in the current regional and sub-regional integration processes.

Recognising the imbalances that exist between the countries of the EU and those of Latin America and the Caribbean, they demanded that the heads of State and Government, due to meet in Lima in May, take action to correct those imbalances, and promote the full implementation of the three pillars of the EU's association agreements with this region (political dialogue, cooperation, and trade) adding a fourth chapter on a social and labour dimension. This last proposal from the trade unions is currently being studied by negotiators from some of the sub-regions.

Discussions focused in particular on the lack of participation of civil society and organised labour, and the need for institutional mechanisms to monitor these agreements. The trade union group also emphasised the need to take part in studies on the social and environmental impact of these agreements, both before and after their negotiation.

The contents of the trade pillar remains one of the principal causes of concern. Delegates stated that trade was not an end in itself and that the inclusion of WTO+ type elements in the agreement was not acceptable.

The Trade Union Summit also expressed its solidarity with workers facing severe attacks on their rights in countries such as Colombia and Guatemala.

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