TTIP, still an open debate in the EU Parliament

TTIP yes or not? That’s the question experts, NGO, and civil society are trying to answer. While the number of people who are trying to take a position in the debate, protests, manifestations and debates are intensifying. On one side the worry is of finding on the table a chicken washed in bleach (in USA chickens are washed in the bleach) or a piece of meat from a cloned animal. So there is fear that EU cede on some rules in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between EU and USA. On the other side the economic advantages from the agreement would not be few, and some products, also Italian ones, like apples from Trentino would benefit from the exchanges between the two continents.

Strasbourg, FranceA general view shows the plenary room of the European Parliament during a voting session in Strasbourg, France, May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Strasbourg, FranceA general view shows the plenary room of the European Parliament during a voting session in Strasbourg, France, May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

In the meantime the negotiations between USA and Europe seem to take a long time. At the beginning it has been thought an agreement could be reached before the end of the summer, but Obama did not have the support from Congress and the discussions are slowly going on. But also the vote in the European Parliament on its recommendations for the agreement, expected for today, June 10th, has been postponed last minute. It seems that Martin Schulz took this decision in the last hours, after that more than 200 amendments on the text have been presented and many have asked to use a disjointed vote. The request coming from the G7 summit to accelerate the negotiations , seems to go unheard.

The European Parliament's opinion

In these hours the EP is continuing to debate the Lange Resolution, on the recommendations for the agreement on the points to which EU cannot do steps back in the TTIP. If these indications are not going to be respected during the negotiations, all the agreement could also be cancelled. “The EP does not want and is not going to vote an agreement that is not bringing advantages to citizens, to productive sector and to young people. We are not going to vote on an agreement that could be in any way dangerous. We are putting a lot of pressure and we are strictly monitoring the EU Commission, because your worries are ours. This resolution, strongly wanted and on which we worked a lot is a proof of that. We believe that this agreement could be a big opportunity for Europe . We are going to prove we are up to the trust of people who asked us to represent them” the mep Alessia Mosca said after the vote on Lange resolution the in the International Trade Committee in the European Parliament. Transparency to guarantee the access to documents is one of the key points of the report, even if recognizing a certain level of secrecy. Furthermore is explicitly required the exclusion of public services from the agreement. In particular, it is written in the document, it needs to be ensured the no negotiability of the food security, the wellness, the animals' health, the protection of workers, of the environment, of personal data and cultural diversities. The resolution insists on a specific commitment . It underlines the need of an engagement to support the growth of European enterprises, in particular for SME, the creation of new qualified jobs. Regarding energy the resolution requires to find, in the negotiations, solutions to diversify the energy supply , which day by day is becoming more urgent because of the difficult International situation. The EU data protection system must be recognized and the geographical indications of food and products origins. Furthermore the engagement of USA is required to ratify  and implement the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the rights and safety of workers. In the key points it is mentioned also the workers, technicians and investors mobility, through the recognition of the professional qualifications and the reciprocity of VISA concessions. Also the guarantee of the different cultures and a more democratic and inclusive globalization find a place in the Lange document. While regarding the ISDS,  resolution system of controversial between State and investors, the EP  the Commission to leave this system and to propose a permanent system for the resolution of controversial between State and investors. A solution that should guarantee the transparency of the cases discussed, public auditions and independent judges publicly nominated. In the requests there is also an appeal mechanism to guarantee the coherence of judicial decisions and the jurisdictional court decisions and of member states and the proposal of the institution of an International Court for Investments.