TTIP negotiations branded 'undemocratic and non-transparent'

Written by Kayleigh Rose Lewis on 15 July 2014 in News

European parliament's groups have spoken out about the 'backroom negotiations' on the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP).

As negotiations get underway in Brussels, ALDE's Marietje Schaake and GUE/NGL president Gabi Zimmer speak to the Parliament Magazine about what is at stake for Europe.

Dutch deputy Schaake, ALDE's TTIP spokesperson, said, "TTIP will be one of the most important trade dossiers in the coming mandate."

"The huge potential economic benefits, but also the need to preserve high EU standards, and the political nature of the negotiations mean that it is guaranteed to feature prominently in the parliamentary work," she argued.

However, she continued, "It is crucial that we address the concerns people voice, while maintaining momentum for the negotiations.

"It is crucial that we address the concerns people voice, while maintaining momentum for the negotiations" - Marietje Schaake

"The goal of ensuring jobs and economic growth without government investment is still much needed.

"To ensure the many different stakeholders can stay involved, the European parliament will continue to push for more transparency and public scrutiny of the negotiation process.

"The European commission must not only focus on the technical aspects, but also on the public dialogue about TTIP," she concluded.

German MEP Zimmer was considerably more critical of the negotiations, saying, "Ending the undemocratic back-room negotiations on TTIP is a major priority for our group."

She explained, "We know there are considerable downside risks related to social and ecological standards and worker's rights and very few actual economic gains from TTIP in terms of GDP, jobs, and real wages.

In addition, Zimmer complained, "The undemocratic and non-transparent negotiations on TTIP are leading us towards a trade regime that puts corporate interests before citizens.

"The undemocratic and non-transparent negotiations on TTIP are leading us towards a trade regime that puts corporate interests before citizens" - Gabi Zimmer

"We cannot allow corporations to sue governments in private tribunals without any legal control, neither can we afford to remove hard fought regulations that help to protect people and planet," she stressed.

"To boot, a recently leaked document showed that TTIP would weaken further opportunities to regulate the financial sector in the future, on both sides of the Atlantic."

Elsewhere, Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts said that the larger parliamentary groups are trying to "muzzle MEPs" as they blocked the group's proposal to adopt a resolution on the negotiations last week.

They said, "Candidates of all political colours were talking up their credentials on defending citizens' interests with regard to TTIP during the election.

"It is cynical that, at the first possible instance, the bigger political groups are now trying to stifle debate on these highly controversial negotiations, which have provoked major concerns among EU citizens and civil society," they stressed.

"The Greens will continue to push for the parliament to take a stronger and clearer role in preventing these opaque negotiations from going too far," the co-chairs promised, concluding, "The European parliament is the voice of the citizens and it needs to defend their legitimate concerns about the prospect of TTIP lowering EU standards."

Parliament's groups are set to discuss the ongoing negotiations following Monday's TTIP meeting during the Strasbourg plenary session .

About the author

Kayleigh Rose Lewis is a journalist for the Parliament Magazine


Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.


Share this page



Related Articles

Issue 465 | 20 November 2017
21 November 2017

Julian King interview, Cybersecurity, Press Freedom, Cohesion Policy,  Wildlife Trafficking, Rare Diseases, Workers' Rights, Open Innovation, Security of Energy supply, 5...

Barnier: Brexit means Brexit - everywhere
21 November 2017

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has used the bluntest language yet to tell Britain that UK-based banks will lose access to the single market as a legal consequence of Brexit.

Issue 464 | 6 November 2017
6 November 2017

Terry Reintke interview, Sexual Harassment and equality, COP23 Climate change talks, Rethinking Recycling: Circular Economy,  COPD Awareness Day, Electrification of Transport,...

Related Partner Content

PM+: TTIP: A foot in the door in Washington?
19 May 2015

TTIP will allow Brussels greater influence in Washington, argues Craig Willy.

New anti-dumping rules: Three ways MEPs should stand up for EU manufacturers
14 June 2017

MEPs should stand up for EU manufacturers by adding legal certainty to the EU’s new anti-dumping methodology, writes Inès Van Lierde.

PM+: Montenegro's 'Façade democracy' conceals corrupt and authoritarian regime
12 November 2015

Montenegro latest progress report is a timely reminder of the contempt with which the country's prime minister Milo Đukanović treats the European institutions, argues Andrey Petrushinin