March 3, 2015 – As the European Parliament drafts its opinion on the controversial TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) talks, 375 civil society organisations from across Europe have called on EU decision-makers to protect citizens, workers, and the environment from the threats it poses. In an open letter sent to MEPs today groups – including trade unions, consumer, environmental, and civil rights organisations – from 25 countries, warn that TTIP could constrain democratic decision-making by strengthening the influence of big business and undermining public services, the protection of public health, the environment, food and workers’ rights.
The call comes as European Parliament committees are discussing a draft resolution on the TTIP negotiations to be voted upon in May. It will not be legally binding on negotiators, but will be a significant political signal as any final TTIP deal would have to pass a vote in the European Parliament.
Key demands in the open letter to MEPs include he publication of all negotiation texts, the rejection of so-called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) and a regulatory cooperation council in TTIP, as well as a call to oppose the lowering of standards.
Resistance against TTIP has grown rapidly across Europe in recent months. More than 1.5 million people have signed a self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative calling on EU decision-makers to stop the TTIP negotiations and to not ratify the EU Canada trade deal CETA. Negotiation texts and independent studies show that TTIP will lead to job losses, increase inequalities and undermine democracy.