GUE/NGL
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TTIP negotiations sideline citizens’ interests

GUE/NGL reiterates its firm opposition to TTIP as the eighth round of talks between EU and US negotiators on a future transatlantic trade and investment deal draw to a close today in Brussels.

MEP Helmut Scholz, shadow rapporteur for the group on TTIP, commented: “TTIP would have extremely negative effects on social, labour, environmental, digital and consumer rights – on both sides of the Atlantic. Under TTIP, any new legislation in these fields would have to undergo an impact assessment to assess how it would affect international trade and investment. This is an open attempt to shift priorities.”

“While some MEPs were given access to the proposal presented by the European Commission to their US counterparts, citizens and journalists are being left completely in the dark about the negotiators' plans for regulatory co-operation – a scheme that would see EU and US rules on chemicals, food standards and financial services aligned and that would legalise the intervention of corporate companies in the regulatory process through an institutional framework established at the heart of the TTIP agreement. This is a clear attempt to prioritise the interests of big business to the detriment of people and planet, and a totally unacceptable limitation of sovereignty and of parliament's and government's power to regulate.”

He continued: “The EU experience has taught us that you cannot create the largest common market in the world without legitimate institutions exercising democratic and judicial control. We will not allow the Commission to simply ignore civil society concerns about an investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism which would disregard our existing court structures and hand corporations the power to take action against democratic decisions made in the public interest. This is an affront to democracy.

“We sincerely hope that our colleagues in the U.S. Congress will not give in to negotiators' demands and will not give up their right to scrutinise the content of each chapter of the agreement by giving the American negotiators carte blanche with a Trade Promotion Authority Act. Instead, the European Parliament and national parliaments should be given the same rights to democratic scrutiny, instead of just saying yes or no to the final package.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group