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Europe and the liberalization of services. The example of the General agreement on trade in services

Vol. 3, No. 1, December 2007
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Frédéric Viale, Attac France

This article departs from WTO’s lack of ability to solve the problems of globalization. The deadlock of the Doha round is seen as an opportunity to rethink the need for international trade regulations. WTO’s history has shown the limits of its own practices: based on the credo of free trade, it was unable to draft an agreement between considerably different countries some of which do not accept the prevailing ideology. International trade should be subjected to rules and should not be allowed to efface fundamental rights (economic, social, and cultural). The bottom-line is that the hierarchy of international norms has to be reestablished in order to prevent those of international trade to prevail over the others. Questions of international cooperation have to be on the agenda and replace those of free trade which could never show their pertinence for development.