NGOs ‘seriously concerned’ over EU-US trade negotiations

A group of 65 European public interest groups has written to the president of the European Parliament expressing “serious concern” over negotiations on a new EU-US trade deal.

The cohort of NGOs allege the European Commission is endangering public health, the environment and democracy by flouting “red lines” set by the European Parliament in negotiations with the US. 

MEPs elect the president of the European Commission which is the body responsible for proposing and implementing EU laws.

One condition recommended by parliament being ignored in negotiations on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is on legislation governing chemicals, pesticides and cosmetic products, according to the signatories. 

Similarly, the group which includes the likes of Greenpeace and the European Consumer Organisation claims EU negotiators are planning to grant US officials access to draft EU measures which would undermine the EU regulatory system.

“The European Parliament has called on the European Commission ‘to fully respect the established regulatory systems on both sides of the Atlantic’.

Nonetheless, the European Commission is proposing granting the US government early access to draft EU measures and enabling it to make proposals regarding regulatory compatibility through, among other things, harmonisation of legislation or mutual recognition,” the letter reads.

Perhaps the most contentious aspect of TTIP negotiations, the investment court system, is also highlighted.

Brought in as a process of resolving disputes between investors and states after criticism of its predecessor, the investment court system has done little to appease protesters who fear it will hand too much power to corporations to trespass on countries’ rights.

An EU spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.


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