The 12th round of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has concluded in Brussels and unfortunately, they remain to be more of the same thing, deals for business at the cost of citizens. We, the Federation of Young European Greens and the Young Greens of the US, demand an immediate halt to the negotiations.
“TTIP, like the Trans Pacific Partnership, is another attack on democracy, environmental protection, and working conditions by global corporate elites. And that’s why on both sides of the Atlantic, social movements are fighting to stop these so-called trade ‘agreements’ that would transfer power from elected governments to multinational corporations,” says Ursula Rozum, co-chair of the Young Green of the US.
“The EU Commission, betting that their chances to get this flawed trade deal passed is under Obama’s tenure, are desperate for some progress. Yet instead of focusing on the circus of US Presidential politics, the European Commission should be focused on creating a deal that both the European and US public actually want,” says Laura Carlier, co-spokesperson of the FYEG.
“For instance, the European Commission is still pushing for the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause which are private arbitration courts made specially for investors. This gives corporations the ability to challenge governments over lost profits, despite huge outcries from citizens against it. This time they are trying it with a new name, Investment Court System, and some cosmetic changes in how the courts will work. These changes are not enough and any parallel legal system that bypasses normal judicial procedures is undemocratic,” continues Carlier.
“Additionally, negotiators will create a universal system to harmonize standards between the EU and US to make it cheaper to trade between the two. In theory, this sounds simple enough, but it is well known that this would put the EU’s precautionary principle in danger by the more lenient US system. Moreover, the current proposal for this system would allow US lawmakers to review standards before the European Parliament would, effectively giving them more power than the democratically elected European representatives over European standards,” concludes Teo Comet, co-spokesperson of FYEG.
These developments only confirm our shared fears that this deal is toxic, which is why we as the Young Greens of both Europe and the US demand a halt to these negotiations. Moreover, we encourage more transatlantic cooperation of youth and civil society in order to effectively tackle the immense political challenges before us. We must create the world we want to see, instead of allowing corporations to decide our futures for us. We invite all young Europeans and Americans to join us in this struggle!