The majority of the European Parliament welcomed the TTIP negotiations today. The GUE/NGL group voted against the resolution.
However, a more significant minority opposed this resolution compared to the last one, and the resolution is more carefully worded. We can therefore say that the NO-TTIP campaign is progressing.
GUE/NGL shadow rapporteur Helmut Scholz explained the group’s reasons for rejecting the resolution: “According to the EU Commission, TTIP will lead to the “relocation” of at least one million jobs in the EU. According to the US Government, TTIP is an instrument with which to confront China and the Kremlin. And, according to the social democrats, ISDS shall now be replaced with ISDS. The EPP and S&D group agreed to tell people that they had heard their concerns, but they are telling the Commission to go ahead anyway.”
He continued: “The impressive public debate and resistance, including the signatures of more than two million citizens against TTIP and ISDS, have successfully changed the wording of the resolution compared to the last term. Significant demands to defend employment, public services, the capacities of SMEs and the audio-visual sectors could have been included. But fight is not over. This was a resolution on the conduct of the negotiations and not on the result.”
“We have tried to transport public concerns much more clearly and outspokenly into the resolution text. Unfortunately, however, almost all of the social democrats decided to vote against every single one of our amendments. Many of those that were reintroduced were very reasonable positions adopted in various committees.”
MEP Scholz added: “Still, there are very obvious contradictions between European expectations and red lines, and the content of the mandate the US Government received in its TPA mandate regarding the agreement pushed for by large corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.”
“Together with our partners in civil society, in trade unions, in consumer protection organisations, in farmers’ and environmental protection organisations, we will continue to point out these contradictions with each negotiation round to come.”
“What they call non-tariff barriers to trade, we call achievements of democracy. We will stand firm against the regulatory cooperation agenda. We will not be appeased by the proposals to replace the current bad ISDS mechanisms with a “better” ISDS. The very principle of ISDS must be given up, as it aims at giving corporations more rights than citizens.”
Concluding, Helmut Scholz said: “We will not agree to consider other trading nations as enemies, and to establish TTIP, CETA or TiSA as weapons in an arms race for future trade wars. Instead we will continue to call for a partnership approach in international trade relations, based on agreements found in the United Nations framework and addressing social justice and environmental sustainability along the entire global production lines.”
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20