The Party of the European Left supports the European Citizens´ Initiative against TTIP and CETA

The Party of the European Left supports the European Citizens´ Initiative against TTIP and CETA

Since summer 2013, the European Commission is negotiating with the US-administration and the business lobby behind closed doors about the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP) . A similar treaty between the EU with Canada, Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), is ready to be ratified soon.

One of the objectives of TTIP and CETA is to abolish to the greatest extent obstacles for corporate profit. If, as planned by the EU and US administration, the TTIP is signed in 2015, it will endanger essential democratic achievements like rules, regulations and standards on food and consumer product safety, environmental protection, biotechnology and toxic chemicals management, financial services and banking, domestic regulation of services, pharmaceutical patent terms, workers’ and democratic rights and many more areas of public policy.

CETA and TTIP will also contain the so-called “investor-to-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) which grants foreign corporations the right to take cases to private trade tribunals and directly challenge government policies and actions that corporations allege reduce the value of their investments. Such an instrument is nullifying the legal system in the economic area and only privilege the interests of corporations and financial markets as well as the neoliberal globalisation. Famous ISDS cases include attempts by Vattenfall to reverse Germany‘s decision to shut down its nuclear plants, Lone Pine attacking Québec‘s fracking ban and Philip Morris challenging tobacco regulations in Australia and Uruguay.

An alliance of different progressive European movements and organisations intends to launch a European Citizens´ initiative (ECI) in summer 2014. The main demands of the ECI will be to cancel the negotiating mandate of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and not to conclude the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Currently already 85 organizations from 14 countries back this initiative. The collection of signatures is to start by September 2014.

The Party of the European Left (EL) welcomes and strongly supports the initiative of an European Citizens' Initiative against TTIP and CETA.

We regard these agreements as a fundamental threat to democracy and social welfare. They will have huge social and ecological consequences. It is fundamentally undemocratic to negotiate such agreements behind close doors. We demand complete openness. The agreements should under no conditions be ratified without a broad democratic debate. The EL demands to conduct referenda in all country where the respective constitution foresees such a provision.

The EL calls on its member and observer parties to actively participate in the collection of signatures and spread information about the topic in their countries.

Furthermore, we demand from left deputies on all levels – local, national, European, international – to get involved and put forward initiatives against TTIP and CETA.

Executive Board of the Party of the European Left
Brussels, 8 June 2014