The European Greens have voiced strong criticism and concerns over the current negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), at their Electoral Convention. This treaty, which is about much more than trade, couls have irreversibly negative impacts on European citizens’ daily lives. But it could also fundamentally limit Europe’s democratic freedom to legislate on the environment, on health, on finances and other matters. This is why we're challenging the legitimacy and the content of these negotiations.
The Greens are critical of the fact that the public is being kept in the dark by European Commission negotiators about the dimension of their work, even though these negotiations could have wide reaching, negative impact on health, social protection, environmental and privacy standards. TTIP is being negotiated in secret, which clearly undercuts democratic values.
We Greens insist on full transparency – nothing less. In the position paper on TTIP that was agreed on at the Electoral Convention, the European Greens highlighted a specific, worrying element of the negotiations: the possible inclusion of investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms in TTIP. This would allow foreign investors to bypass domestic courts and to file their complaints directly with international arbitration tribunals, often only composed of corporate lawyers.
As result investors would be able sue governments for billions in damages, in case democratic decision-making might adversely affect an investor’s projected profit (if a government adopted health or environmental legislation that affects the operation of a business, for example). The position paper has a very clear message - no ISDS!
“The TTIP agenda, as promoted by the EU Commission, does not represent the kind of transatlantic alliance that Greens advocate. We do not want a transatlantic alliance that would inevitably be negative for Green standards in the EU. We want to promote a transatlantic cooperation as an integral part of global multilateral cooperation supporting a global Green New Deal, aligning efforts towards a sustainable low carbon economy, social justice, addressing climate change and the over- consumption of resources. But the TTIP agenda does not deliver in this direction, and it presents too many dangers and risks to be acceptable. “Greens therefore take an opposition position vis-à-vis TTIP. It has been expressed in our Common Manifesto: We mobilize against any trade agreement that does not honour these principles, therefore we oppose TTIP in its current form.”
You can find the full position here.