WTO: DELLA VEDOVA "EU HEAVILY RESPOSIBLE FOR THE FAILURE"
Statement by Benedetto Della Vedova, member of the European Parliament and of the EU delegation in Cancun.
At the end it has happened what nobody thought could happen: the ministerial conference "that could not fail", failed. It is possible that the 148 countries members of the WTO can find in Geneva, away from the attention of the media, the way to start again the development round agreed in Doha, but the stop given in Cancun is heavy. Heavy, first of all, because it risks to deprive the global economy of that increase in the commerce and in the international investments on which many counted to reverse the present negative conjuncture.
There will be time to analyse the causes of this failure and also the behaviour, tactical and strategic, of the emergent powers. It must be clear, however, that European Union bears the most serious responsibility in having compromised the negotiatons with a position of total intransigence against the demands from the poor countries to remove agricultural protectionism.
The refusal to give guarantees even on the elimination of the export subsidies, the most hateful and distorting tool defending the European agriculture, has represented an irresponsible attitude that has also supplied a cast-iron alibi to those emergent countries that wanted to demonstrate in Cancun their interdiction power in the global economic governance.
To defend their own choices, European leaders try to offload part of the responsibilities of the failure of the agricultural negotiates on the United States, engaged, as an example, in an equally hateful and indefendible protectionism on cotton. But one thing must be clear: USA, with their geopolitical influence and the strength of their multinational enterprises, will be able to survive to the crisis of the WTO much better than the European Union. The old continent, politically weak and with an industrial structure based on small enterprises, would pay the eclipse of multilateral negotiates much more than the United States. Does Europe consider the defense of inefficient and eccessive agricultural productions more important than whichever other thing?