European Citizens’ Initiative on TTIP blocked by Commission

GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz has welcomed a move by nearly 300 civil society groups from all over Europe who have together filed a lawsuit against the European Commission regarding its refusal to register the official European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) on TTIP, the controversial EU-USA trade deal, and CETA, a similar deal with Canada.

“It seems that for the European Commission, democracy itself is the greatest 'barrier to trade',” commented the German MEP. “By blocking this ECI the Commission has shown that is seeks to stifle dissent on TTIP. I hope that this lawsuit at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will be successful. We support European Citizens' Initiatives as instruments for more democracy and participation in the European Union.”

Scholz, Group coordinator on Parliament's International trade committee, continued: “TTIP is dangerous because it would give corporations the right of action against governments in special tribunals when environmental or consumer protection laws stand in the way of their profit expectations. We want high quality standards for consumer goods and services in the EU and in the USA. We want companies who violate these standards to be taken to account.

“The debate around TTIP is fundamentally about what we want to produce and how we consume, as well as how we want to live in the future. What food is on our table? What chemicals are used in the products we buy? What kind of agriculture do we want? How can communities decide how our democracies work?”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group