Key TTIP vote postponed

Key TTIP vote postponed

An important vote on TTIP at the plenary session of the European Parliament, which was due to take place tomorrow morning (10 June 2015), has been delayed at the last minute.

The reason offered is that there has been such a large number of amendments to the proposal that MEPs need more time to consider it. However, critics say that the postponement of the TTIP vote reflects just how controversial and contested this trade deal has become. Despite being under enormous pressure from corporate lobbyists, MEPs know that the people of Europe do not want the introduction of secret corporate courts that could undermine public services as well as environmental and labour regulations.

Yesterday (Monday 8 June) the European Citizens’ Initiative, Stop TTIP, reached a new record number of signatures, two days ahead of a critical vote. With two million signatories, this is the largest European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) since the introduction of the instrument in 2012, even though the EU Commission has tried to block it.

Opponents of TTIP are claiming a small victory, but urge caution and no letting up of public pressure.  Commenting on the decision, Yannick Jadot, trade spokesperson for the Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA) Group in the European Parliament (with which Pirate MEP Julia Reda aligns herself), said in a press release this evening:

The European Parliament’s establishment is in panic that the vote on the EP’s TTIP resolution will reveal the clear divisions within the larger political groups on the controversial EU-US negotiations. EP president Schulz has pulled a fast one and used an underhand administrative procedure to postpone tomorrow’s vote and prevent these divisions from being put on the record, notably as regards the highly contentions ISDS investor protection mechanism.

This division within the European Parliament on TTIP is a major turnaround from the last time MEPs voted on the issue 2 years ago and shows that the significant and mounting public pressure is bearing fruit. It is important that this pressure from the public and civil society is maintained. This resolution is just one step on a long road, with the TTIP negotiations liable to drag on for the foreseeable future. We will continue to raise these concerns with TTIP and fight to ensure that TTIP will not simply be waved through by a cosy coalition among the centre-right and centre-left political groups in the parliament.

Featured image: public domain