2012

2012

Record of Policy Statements (RoPS)

Make Anti Counterfeit Trade Agreement History

The Green Party notes the statement, below, adopted by the Council of the European Green Party in  May 2012 and the near identical statement adopted at the Global Greens Congress in March 2012.

TEXT OF EGP RESOLUTION

Make ACTA history

ACTA is not transparent, non-democratic and exclusive

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was negotiated by the EU, the USA and a small group of other states supported by industry lobby groups behind closed doors without the participation of  parliaments and civil society. As the attempt to push for stricter enforcement rules of intellectual property rights failed in multilateral fora like the WTO and the WIPO, the states pushing for ACTA, decided to  negotiate in an exclusive group without developing countries. We as European Greens strongly oppose  this move away from international fora and to start a policy of closed shops and not- transparent processes.

ACTA threatens the freedom of information in the Internet

Although ACTA does not (anymore) oblige the treaty parties to control and inflict ISP infringement, it still  lists these provisions as goals to be reached. The signatories shall, for example, work towards a stronger  cooperation between Internet Service Providers and ISP right holders. This would lead to more stringent  rights’ enforcement by the ISPs for fear of responsibility for alleged Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringement by their customers and give matter to the notion of privatised rights’ enforcement outside of regular formal legal procedures.

ACTA endangers the access to medicine

Patients all over the globe, but especially in developing countries depend to a large extent on the affordable generics – often produced in other developing countries like India but shipped through the EU. As ACTA also covers trademarks, customs’ officers will become entitled to seize generics in transit if they  as much as resemble patented medicine by their packaging. ACTA will facilitate the destruction of confiscated medicine – now only possible in very limited circumstances. Forced information disclosure in  the production chain will be made easier for right holders and thus cause a chilling effect for producers of  generic medicine that means out of fear for punishment decrease or stop production. All these measures  go beyond TRIPS, curb the developing countries’ TRIPS flexibilities and threaten the trade with legitimate generic medicine.

ACTA paves a wrong way of how to deal with copyright

A more and more rigid way of copyright and IPR infringement became more dominant in the last years.  We saw TRIPS that made life difficult for developing countries. Companies can patent new forms of  broccoli or Amazonas plants. Pharmaceutical companies patent every tiny change of a medicine. We  Greens want a reform of the IPR system so that it is based on a fair balance of right holders and users. We Greens are discussing therefor the best ways to modernize and reform copyright and IPR legislation to  each these goals. ACTA however would cement the old, rigid approach for the years to come.

ACTA does not even hold what it promises

The Commission and other ACTA proponents claim that ACTA wants to fight counterfeit products. In  reality, ACTA is useless in preventing the production of faked Gucci sun glasses counterfeit products,  China, is not even part of ACTA. ACTA cannot prevent the trade with faked, dangerous medicine.

The  people do not want ACTA

The big protest movement all over the world, especially Europe showed that European citizens do not want ACTA. The pressure from the streets showed already its impact. The  European Commission itself is starting to doubt and decided to refer ACTA to the European Court of  Justice. Other political groups in the European Parliament woke up and started critical debates – also after having received thousands of e-mails from concerned citizens. There is a political momentum
for making ACTA history.

Therefore, we, as European Greens:

  1. Strictly oppose ACTA;
  2. Support the protest movement all over the world;
  3. Urge the European Parliament and ACTA signatories’ national parliaments to refuse consent on ACTA;
  4. Conduct ex-ante and ex-post human rights impact assessments with every trade agreement.
  5. We are aware of the fact, that ACTA is not an isolated attempt to reduce the freedom of Internet or access to medicines. The European Greens call upon the European Parliament and the
    EU Commission that they should consistently support and fight for net neutrality and an open and free Internet, and access to medicines and against reducing Internet freedom as in IPRED or other upcoming international negotiations.

TEXT OF EGP RESOLUTION ENDS

The Green Party welcomes and supports this statement and congratulates the Greens in the European Parliament for leading the campaign against ACTA.

The Green Party further notes that ACTA is part of a series of attempts to change national and international regulation around intellectual property and  copyright in favour of corporate profit and to the detriment of human rights and consumer protection.

Passed Autumn 2012

International Law of Ecocide

The Green Party of England and Wales gives its wholehearted support for an international law of Ecocide – a crime against nature, humanity and future generations – to be established and recognised as an  International Crime Against Peace.

Passed Autumn 2012

Economic Democracy

To help prevent a repeat of the economic crisis, we need greater economic democracy, through participation in decision-making, transparency, decentralisation of economic power and greater accountability from corporations. There are four ways we could achieve this:

Require medium and  large-sized companies to be accountable to their employees and to the general public by including on their management boards employee-elected directors and independent directors to represent the interests of consumers. Employee and consumer directors could act as watchdogs and whistleblowers against corporate irresponsibility. Not being driven by the profit-motive, they could also push for company policies that are more socially inclusive and environmentally protective.

Give employees a meaningful stake in the management and control of their company pension funds, to decentralise and democratise investment decisionmaking and to give it a social and ethical dimension. The £900 billion invested in pension funds is a sizeable counterweight to the economic clout of big business. It could be invested in ways that help make the economy more fair and people-centred.

Grant employees the legal right to buy out their companies and turn them into workers co-operatives, and provide funding to do this from a Green National Investment Bank. The funding would be contingent on the cooperatives following green and ethical policies. These co-ops would weaken the power of big corporations, localise economic decision-making, and give employees incentives for greater productivity.

Passed Autumn 2012

The ILO Convention on Domestic Workers

The Green Party calls on the UK government to sign and ratify the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers. It recognises domestic workers are an important part of the workforce and should be entitled to the same rights as any other worker, including pay, working hours and safety. We call on the government to particularly recognise the vulnerability of migrant domestic workers and act to ensure their protection and provision of safe, appropriate working conditions for them.

Passed Spring 2012

Women, Peace and Security and the UN

The Green Party is deeply concerned about sexual violence and all forms of violence perpetrated against civilians, particularly the high levels of violence against women and children, in situations of armed conflict. We call on the UK government to provide greater financial resources and active support to implement the provisions of UN resolutions and decisions dealing with women, peace and security, including UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), UN Security Council Resolution 1820 (2008), UN Security Council Resolution 1888 (2009), UN Security Council Resolution 1889 (2009) and UN General Assembly Resolution 65/69 (2010).

We call on the government to recognise and support the important role of women as agents of change in local, national and international disarmament and peace-making, and to work with relevant organisations and agencies to ensure there is increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for disarmament, the prevention, management and resolution of conflict, and the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security.

The Green Party also strongly supports the new UN Women organisation. The government’s current funding for UN Women falls far short of our commitments and UN Women’s needs, and the Green Party calls for the UK government to increase funding and meet Britain’s full responsibilities to resource the work of UN Women.

Passed Spring 2012

Ending the Long-Term Stigmatisation of Sex Workers and Former Sex Workers

The Green Party calls for the ending of the classification of the offences of “Loitering or Soliciting for the Purpose of Prostitution” and “Brothelkeeping” as sexual offences. We recognise that the permanent retention of sexual offences on an individual’s record, through the enhanced criminal records bureau check, can be a significant barrier to people who wish to leave sex work but are prevented from entering many jobs as a result of this record, and may also have severe and unwarranted consequences for family life.

Passed Spring 2012

Availability for Work

The Green Party has a commitment to the introduction of a Citizens Income which will mean that the need to test “availability for work” is no longer required. In the meantime we believe that decisions about whether someone is healthy enough to be required to be “available for work” should be made within the NHS rather than by a “capability assessment” carried out by the DWP.

Passed Spring 2012

Occupy Movement

The Green Party supports the global occupy movement:

  • Since the financial crisis began there has been a widespread recognition that our economic system is not working.
  • Whether it be reversing the deregulation of the financial services, wealth inequality, privatisation or tax injustice there is a deep desire to see real change.
  • The Occupy Movement that began in Wall Street and spread to hundreds of cities across the world represents the clearest expression of that desire for change.
  • The Green Party applauds the audacity of this movement that has made our failing economic system a daily topic of discussion in the media and in our communities.
  • The Green Party seeks to learn from this movement with which we have so much in common.
  • We can only gain by debating, working with and befriending those in this and other new movements whose fresh approach to politics has reignited hope for the future in so many.
  • We seek to take the inspiration they have given us and use it to inform our work in our communities, on the streets and at the ballot box.

Passed Spring 2012

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