Opposition to the E.U.-U.S. trade deal gathered momentum, as negotiators meeting in Brussels appeared to make little progress in their negotiations this week, according to the World Development Movement (WDM) organization that is protesting any trade deal between Europe and the U.S.
Campaign groups and trade unions announced plans for Europe-wide protests on Oct. 11 against the deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Campaigners also launched a ‘Citizens’ Initiative’ petition to the European Commission with the aim of gathering one million signatures against the deal.
Reportedly, 150,000 people responded to a European Commission consultation that closed on July 13, protesting what the group calls one of the most controversial parts of the TTIP deal, the ‘Investor State Dispute Settlement’ mechanism (ISDS). The response is claimed to be the biggest ever to such a consultation. The protestors claim the ISDS would allow multinational companies to sue governments over decisions they believed might affect their profits. The E.U. has said it will suggest a way forward on this aspect of TTIP in November.
Protestors from Spain, Belgium and Germany were forcibly evicted from a consultation this week after interrupting a meeting with chief E.U. and U.S. negotiators to demand the text of the agreement be made public. The deal is still in negotiation, but the WDM thinks the public should be part of the negotiation.
The World Development Movement’s head of campaigns and policy, Polly Jones, said today: “The coalition against TTIP is growing by the week. Citizens in both Europe and the U.S. understand how serious a threat this agreement is to our democracy. We are now planning an autumn of activism on TTIP, and we believe we can beat it.”
The European Commission has claimed the deal would bring people in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe positive benefits including an extra £2 per person per week by 2027. But WDM uses another study that predicts one million people across the U.K., Europe and the U.S. could lose their jobs as a result of the deal.
Polly Jones is quoted as saying the “TTIP deal is a threat to our democracy and our society, and it should be abandoned.” How and why isn’t really explained in WDM announcements.