EU Parliament Votes Against 2.3 Million European Citizens
The highly controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was voted upon in the EU parliament this Wednesday, July 8th. A majority of the parliament backed the resolution, 436 ‘yes’ votes against 241 ‘no’ votes.
“While TTIP between the US and Europe would create the world’s largest free trade zone many Europeans believe that the agreement will elevate corporate interest above national interest.” [RT]
Proponents of TTIP claim that it will create several millions jobs in the export industry. As a result wage increases and price reductions would make consumers richer as well. A further explanation of what the TTIP means can be read in the Guardian. The PPUK also explains why TTIP is not a good deal.
“More than 2.3 million Europeans have signed a European Citizens’ Initiative and demand an immediate stop to the TTIP negotiations. These citizens were completely ignored today by the European Parliament. We will make sure their voices will be heard in the months to come. On 10 October we’re calling for a European Day of Action against TTIP and CETA, the EU-Canada trade agreement. Large demonstrations are planned in Germany and The Netherlands, while decentralised actions will take place in hundreds of cities in many other European countries such as France, Spain, Poland and Austria. We will continue to fight for our democracy, rule of law as well as social and environmental standards.”
– Ernst-Christoph Stolper (Stop TTIP spokesperson)
The most controversial part of the TTIP is the section ‘Investor State Dispute Settlement provision’ (ISDS). The EU parliament “just voted to enshrine the right of corporations to sue governments, should they believe their profits may have taken a hit from legislation designed to protect the environment, workers’ rights or public services.” The vote by the EU parliament means that an ISDS-lite version was approved as being part of the final TTIP suggestion.
• It means corporations can sue governments, and governments at best can only avoid losing, rather than winning.
• There is no discernable difference between ISDS as it exists now and this new proposal when it comes to ‘regulatory chill’ – the reluctance of governments to legislate through fear of a future court case.
• It remains the case that corporations will have privileged access to a more favourable legal system than the rest of society. If the US and EU’s current domestic legal systems are not good enough for the likes of Veolia and Halliburton, they are surely not good enough for the rest of us.
• A standing court, with a building and permanently employed staff will be a more expensive way (to the taxpayer, of course) of organizing a corporate court system. Austerity doesn’t exist when it comes to serving the corporations.
Pirate Parties International Says NO to TTIP!
Last weekend the general assembly of Pirate Parties International accepted a motion against TTIP:
The Assembly of Members of Pirate Parties International strictly oppose international treaties enforcing broken monopolies hindering developing countries or human rights and freedoms.
- Strictly oppose TTIP
- Support the protest movement all over the world
- Urge the European Parliament and both houses of the U.S. Congress not to consent to TTIP
- Call for ex-ante and ex-post human rights impact assessments to be conducted for every trade agreement.
Featured image: CC-BY, PPUK