With Parliament's recommendations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations due to be voted tomorrow, GUE/NGL MEPs expressed their opposition to the whole deal and the lack of concern for EU citizens during a debate in plenary this morning.

MEP Helmut Scholz GUE/NGL, coordinator on the International Trade Committee (INTA), said: “TTIP advocates like to justify this agreement on account of changes in the global economy. Yes, the global economy is changing, but TTIP is not the right answer. It is not only naive, but it is wrong to set standards against the rest of the world. We don't need a confrontational alliance against China, Russia or India. We should be shaping our world together with these partners, which means trade policy governance needs to be democratic.”

He added: “TTIP is not just outwardly confrontational, but also internally. EU citizens regard plans for regulatory cooperation as an onslaught. What are called trade barriers are in reality democratic achievements. Big business may not like this, but for our societies these rules and standards are important. This is why we fundamentally reject ISDS and why we campaign for decent work, healthy food, public services and binding sustainability chapters. This is why we're against TTIP. It is time to start a democratic process with citizens, with the EU, its organisations, parliaments and with our partners for a common future,”

Dutch MEP Anne-Marie Mineur started by reminding MEPs present in the chamber who they represent: “Not business Europe and the American Chamber of Commerce whose agenda is the basis for this agreement. Not the lawyers who are benefitting from an exploding number of ISDS cases, not the companies who are writing and rewriting our democratic laws.”

She continued: “Instead you represent the 2.3 million people who signed the European Citizens' Initiative to stop TTIP. The 150,000 people who contributed to the public consultation on ISDS and who were 97% negative on the whole idea. It is the hundreds and thousands of people who are now writing letters and emails to you to stop TTIP and ISDS. It is the people who voted for you. You are democratically elected representatives. Vote NO to TTIP and NO to ISDS.”

Referring to this weekend's referendum in Greece, Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza said: “We say “OXI” to TTIP for many reasons and I will focus on one only: democracy. Democracy is the value that the people of Greece reminded us of this weekend. Democracy is paramount.”

Addressing the Commission, she said regulatory cooperation is simply “a Trojan horse to bring in multinationals, to play onto their hands and to allow the rights of investors to prevail over citizens' rights. And yet all this is invoked in the name of democracy.” She quoted many studies which showed the impact of TTIP: “We would have more than 600.000 more unemployed and salaries and wages would be affected.”

Ms Forenza concluded: “We believe in democracy and we believe that TTIP should be subject to a referendum too.”

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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