Bureaucratic arguments should not be used to impede a transparent vote on TiSA
Last Friday, the office of Mr Martin Schulz, President of European Parliament, informed the political groups that, because there are too many amendments to be voted on in the Reding report on Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the President is considering the use of rule 175 of the European Parliament's rules of procedure and to send the report back to the International Trade (INTA) committee where members would then vote on which amendments would be acceptable or not.
On behalf of the GUE/NGL Group, Stelios Kouloglou, GUE/NGL shadow on TiSA, said: “Together with TTIP and CETA, the TiSA plurilateral agreement negotiated by the European Commission and a club of rich countries is one of the major neoliberal offensives in favour of corporations and against workers' and consumers' rights. For the European Parliament, voting on 69 amendments for such an important report is absolutely normal and easy. The position of the President reflects more Schulz's embarrassment to make public that members of his political group will have to decide to vote yes or no on the continuation of such negotiations, and on the inclusion in the agreement of new mechanisms such as the use of negative lists to liberalise services, or to consider that the EU should not further open its service market to countries that haven’t signed the ILO convention such as the USA.”
Stelios Kouloglou added: “If concluded, TiSA will seriously affect the daily life of Europeans as it means the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and quality jobs; it will damage data protection and the right to privacy; it is a threat to the environment; and it’s a new offensive against public services such as health services, education and water sanitation in European and in third countries, including in developing countries. This is the reason why Uruguay decided to leave the negotiations.”
“Bureaucratic arguments and mechanisms should not be used to reduce democracy and transparency on such an essential file,” MEP Kouloglou concluded.
Please note: Stelios Kouloglou together with MEPs Thomas Händel, Lola Sanchez and Emmanuel Maurel will take part in a press conference tomorrow, Tuesday 2 February, at 16:00, in the Press room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Nikki Sullings + 32 483 03 55 75