The Seventh World Congress of Education International meeting in Ottawa, Canada, from 22nd to 26th July 2015:
- Reaffirms EI’s longstanding opposition to multilateral, plurilateral, regional and bilateral trade agreements which seek to commercialise and privatise public services, including education.
- Expresses grave concerns about the new wave of trade and investment agreements which are currently being negotiated by national governments and supra-national bodies such as the European Union (EU). These agreements include the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)1, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trade in International Services Agreement (TiSA), which involves 23 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) (including the EU as one).
- Believes these trade and investment agreements will have far-reaching implications for the world economy, particularly as they are being promoted as benchmarks for future deals.
- Recognises that developing countries are likely to be more adversely affected by rules of trade and investment agreements that limit and prevent the establishment and expansion of public services, including education.
- Condemns the lack of transparency and proper democratic oversight and the fact that representatives from the poorest countries of the world are excluded completely from these negotiations.
- Recognises that these agreements seek to go far beyond traditional tariff reductions by imposing constraints on what governments can do behind their national borders, including the promotion of regulatory coherence and convergence across countries irrespective of national priorities.
- Believes these agreements pose direct threats to the provision of quality public services, including education, in particular through restricting governments’ capacity to regulate in the public interest, encouraging further liberalisation of services and expanding the rights of multinational corporations.
- Further believes that the application of corporate-dominated agreements will negate national legal sovereignty and undermine workers’ rights and social and environmental standards.
- Remains unconvinced by official claims that these trade and investment agreements will lead to more jobs and improved economic benefits for working people, and that any economic gains that do arise will be distributed unequally and be outweighed by the costs to working people and their families.