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European Union wants water in trade agreements

A new report from Corporate Europe Observatory notes that, “Judging from all available sources, the European Union appears in fact to be pushing for including water in trade agreements whenever possible.”

Their report notes various bilateral trade talks the EU have been pursuing with developing countries and states, “Even the simple question of whether the EU is pushing for including water and sanitation services in these FTAs is kept from public scrutiny.”

Their report also notes, “In February 2003…the EU’s requests to third countries were leaked and (it) became public that the EU was asking 72 countries to ‘liberalise’ their water services, providing unlimited market access and ‘national treatment’ for foreign firms. Many of the countries targeted had public-managed water sectors. The EU’s demands were clearly aimed at advancing privatisation to benefit the EU corporations that dominate the world’s private water markets.”

The six-page report can be read at

We will keep this report in mind as we develop our analysis and campaign against the proposed Canada-EU trade agreement.