“Zagreb Should Become CETA-Free Zone”

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“Zagreb Is Ours” political platform rejects the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada.

“Zagreb Is Our” political platform issued a statement regarding the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada, reports Politika Plus on March 28, 2017.

“Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, is visiting Zagreb today and she will discuss the issue of trade agreements, as well as advocate that Croatia should ratify CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement).

At yesterday’s meeting with the European Commissioner for Trade, Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Davor Ivo Stier gave the green light to the agreement, pointing out that Croatia would be among the first EU members to ratify the agreement. The political platform “Zagreb Is Ours” opposes the ratification of CETA as it is extremely harmful, not only at the state level, but also at the local level.

In the City Assembly, we will demand that Zagreb should join a network of more than 1,500 local government units across the European Union (including cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​Vienna, Brussels…) which have been declared CETA-free zones, expressing opposition to the agreement in order to protect public and municipal services, labour rights and the environment. A vote for CETA would bring poorer quality of life in cities and financial losses for the city budget.

By implementing CETA, state and local governments would be significantly limited in using the instruments of public procurement for the localization of the economy, and in a range of situations they would be forced to agree to liberalization or privatization of public utilities and services. The agreement itself restricts local authorities in creating new public services and utilities that would be exempted from privatization, and prevents them from return to public ownership already privatized public services and utilities such as wastewater treatment.

Also, CETA agreement restricts local authorities in using the instruments of public procurement to encourage local production, because that would allegedly discriminate against international corporations. It is precisely with the instruments of public procurement that we can encourage local agricultural production, which at the same time brings investments in local economic development while reducing emissions from transportation of products.

It should be added that the process of negotiations on the CETA agreement between the European Commission and Canada was completely non-transparent and that the agreement contains so-called private courts, where international corporations can sue governments at national and local level each time their decisions go against the interests of their business.

The CETA agreement is directly opposed to our programme principles and therefore the political platform ‘Zagreb Is Ours’ strongly opposes ratification of this agreement by the Croatian Parliament. We will fight for Zagreb to join the network of CETA-free cities that reject the use of CETA agreement, in order to protect the public interest of the citizens and the local community”, said the platform in the statement.


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