GUE/NGL demands TTIP talks be put on hold: real democracy now!

Amid mounting public criticism about negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US, GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz has called for the negotiations to be put on hold.

He spoke in this afternoon's TTIP plenary debate, during which the group as a whole demonstrated its disagreement in the Chamber (see photo) with the social, economic, cultural and environmental aspects of the negotiations, their impact on agriculture as well as their total lack of transparency.

Scholz, the group's coordinator on Parliament's International Trade Committee, addressed Trade Commissioner De Gucht: “You carried out a public consultation on the inclusion of an Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause which received over 115,000 responses. Citizens don't want ISDS; neither in TTIP nor in the agreement with Canada.

“I urge you again to take the concerns expressed by broad sections of civil society seriously. Do you really think small-scale producers and consumers want further liberalisation of trade in agricultural products? I assure you, this is not the case.

He continued: “In the eyes of our citizens, the US is guilty of espionage and data theft. There is no confidence in these negotiators. As long as the Americans do not want to commit to protecting EU citizens' data and to respect us, there is no basis for a trade agreement.”

To conclude, he called on Commissioner De Gucht to protect democracy, create transparency, ensure greater participation for parliaments and the public and to make the negotiating texts public.

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