• Civil society groups denounce “regulatory cooperation” in TTIP negotiations

  • 03 Feb 15
  • Regulatory cooperation is the ultimate tool to prevent or weaken future public interest standards. Civil society organisations denounce it as a danger to democracy and an attempt to put the interests of big business before the protection of citizens, workers and the environment.

    Video on regulatory cooperation in the TTIP negotiations, a joint project of SumOfUs, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), LobbyControl, Seattle to Brussels Network and Campact.


    February 2015 – Statement by civil society organisations on regulatory cooperation in TTIP

    We, the undersigned organisations, hereby express our deep concern about and our firm opposition to the direction of the TTIP negotiations regarding the regulation of vital areas, such as chemicals, food standards, public services, occupational health and safety, and financial regulation.

    EU negotiators have claimed on a number of occasions that TTIP is not a threat to the laws and standards that protect us and the environment. (1)

    But the latest leaked European Commission position on the regulatory cooperation chapter of the TTIP negotiations (2) has further heightened our concerns. The Commission proposes a system that can only result in further barriers to developing public interest standards as these would need to be ‘trade and investment’ proof. It also gives unprecedented influence to business lobby groups to stop any new regulation that would impact on trade and investment. The proposal strongly prioritises trade and investment over the public interest. The system would give enormous power to a small group of unelected officials to stop and weaken regulations and standards even before democratically elected bodies, such as parliaments, would have a say over them, thus undermining our democratic system.

    The Commission calls for more «compatibility» between laws on both sides of the Atlantic and a “pro-competitive regulatory environment”.  Compatibility is going to lead to «downward harmonisation» (3), as demonstrated by a July 2014 report for the European Parliament.

    The Commission text suggests that any new law would need to be justified by new facts or scientific evidence if requested by a company or government. The Commission proposal also reflects industry's demand to create a Regulatory Cooperation Body to facilitate an early information system of consultations and influence over the development of new laws.

    Furthermore, according to the Commission proposal, US and EU businesses would have a greater say on most laws in Brussels, in EU capitals, in Washington and in US states. The Commission seems to have largely conceded to the demand of business lobby groups to essentially co-write legislation (4).

    The Commission proposals for regulatory cooperation carry the threat of lowering standards in the long and short term, on both sides of the Atlantic, at the state and member state/European levels. They constrain democratic decision-making by strengthening the influence of big business over regulation.

    For instance, a January 2015 report by CIEL shows that regulatory cooperation is likely to further delay and even stall stronger protections from toxic chemicals and pesticides. (5)

    Regulatory cooperation could also constitute a gradual attack on the precautionary principle, slowly but widely opening doors to GMOs, nanomaterials and endocrine disruptors (6).

    For these reasons, we urge the negotiators to remove regulatory cooperation from the TTIP negotiations.


    Signed by

    ACEP - Associação para a Cooperação Entre os Povos (Portugal)

    Action for Breast Cancer Foundation (Malta)

    ActionAid

    Afri (Action from Ireland)

    Afrika Kontakt (Denmark)

    AITEC (France)

    Alliance D19 D20 (Belgium)

    Alliance for Cancer Prevention (UK)

    Alternatiba Eraikitzen

    Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL)

    ATTAC Austria

    ATTAC Bizkaia (Basque Country)

    ATTAC Denmark

    ATTAC France

    ATTAC Germany

    ATTAC HELLAS

    ATTAC Hungary

    ATTAC Ireland

    ATTAC Portugal

    ATTAC Spain

    Biofuelwatch, UK/US

    Both ENDS

    Campaign for Real Farming (UK)

    The Cancer Prevention & Education Society (UK)

    Center for Encounter and active Non-Violence (Austria)

    Center for Sustainable Development of the Mountain (Bulgaria)

    CIEL

    CIG - Confederación Intersindical Galega

    Collectif anti-gaz de schiste de Clapiers (France)

    Collectif citoyen IDF Non aux pétroles et gaz de schiste et de couche (France)

    Collectif  d'action contre l'accord général pour  le commerce des services (Loupian-Bouzigues, France)

    Confederacion Intersindical (Spain)

    Corporate Europe Observatory (EU)

    Danish Eco Council

    Earth Open Source (UK)

    Ecologistas en Acción (Spain)

    Ecoforum for Sustainable Development Association (Bulgaria)

    EcoNexus (UK)

    Economistas sin Fronteras (Spain)

    ECOS (EU)

    ELA (Basque Country)

    ENSEMBLE! (France)

    Entrepueblos/Entrepobles/Entrepobos/Herriarte (Spain)

    Environmental Association Za Zemiata, Friends of the Earth Bulgaria

    Esperanto Radikala Asocio Onlus (Italy)

    EUrope NEWnited Serviceteam (EU)

    European Federation of Building and Wood Workers (EFBWW)

    European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)

    European Information-Human Rights Center (EIHRC)

    European Transport Workers’ Federation

    Fair Trade Hellas (Greece)

    Fairwatch (Italy)

    Food & Water Europe

    foodwatch

    Foundation for Environment and Agriculture (FEA) (Bulgaria)

    Fracking Free Ireland

    France Amérique Latine (FAL)

    France Nature Environnement

    Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    Friends of the Earth Europe

    Friends of the Earth France

    Fundacja Strefa Zieleni (Green Zone Foundation), Poland

    Future for Borino (Bulgaria)

    The Gaia Foundation (UK)

    GAIA - Grupo de Acção e Intervenção Ambiental (Portugal)

    Gen-ethisches Netzwerk e.V. (GeN)

    Global Justice Now (UK)

    GMWatch (UK)

    GRAIN

    HEAL (EU)

    Highlands and islands against fracking (UK)

    IBD Initiative Bürger für Demokratie (Germany)

    Iuridicum Remedium (IuRe) (Czech Republic)

    Keep Ireland Fracking Free

    Lithuanian Seamen’s Union

    LobbyControl (Germany)

    Magyar Természetvédők Szövetsége (MTVSZ / Friends of the Earth Hungary)

    May Day (Denmark)

    Mehr demokratie! Österreich

    Mujeres de Negro contra la guerra (Spain)

    Munich Environment Institute (Umweltinstitut München e.V.)

    NABU e.V. (Germany)

    National Justice & Peace Network (UK)

    Not For Shale Ireland

    Observatory on Debt in Globalisation (Debtwatch), Spanish state, Catalonia

    ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria

    Oikos – Cooperação e Desenvolvimento (Portugal)

    PAN Europe

    Plataforma Não ao Tratado Transatlântico (Portugal)

    PowerShift e.V (Germany)

    Pro Ethical Trade Finland

    The Puntarji - movement for active citizenship (Slovenia)

    Réseau Environnement Santé  (France)

    Seeds Action Network - SAN Germany

    SIndikat žerjavistov p.d. - Luka Koper (Slovenia)

    Social Europe Malta - Front Against TTIP

    Solidarity and Cooperation CIPSI (Italy)

    Solidary Bulgaria

    Stichting Schaliegasvrij Nederland, (Shale-gas free Netherlands)

    StopTTIP UK

    SumOfUs

    Sussex Against TTIP

    Terra Nuova (Italy)

    Transform! Europe

    Transnational Institute (Netherlands)

    UK National Hazards Campaign

    UNI Europa

    Union syndicale Solidaires (France)

    USO (Spain)

    VHUE e.V. (Germany)

    War on Want (UK)

    WECF Germany

    WECF France

    WECF The Netherlands

    WEED – World Economy, Ecology & Development (Germany)

    Werkstatt Ökonomie, Heidelberg (Germany)

    Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Netherlands (WILPF NL)

    Xnet, Spain

    ŽALI.LT (Lithuania) 

    Notes
    (1) http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1219

    (2) http://corporateeurope.org/international-trade/2014/12/ttip-covert-attacks-democracy-and-regulation

    (3) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2014/514007/AGRI_IPOL_STU%282014%29514007_EN.pdf

    (4) http://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/businesseurope-uschamber-paper.pdf

    (5) http://ciel.org/Publications/LCD_TTIP_Jan2015.pdf

    (6) https://www.agra-net.net/agra/agra-europe/crops/ttip-must-prioritise-regulatory-co-operation-on-gmos---coceral--1.htm

    http://www.merid.org/en/Content/News_Services/Nanotechnology_and_Development_News/Articles/2013/Jun/25/canada_and_us.aspx

    http://www.croplifeamerica.org/sites/default/files/ECPA-CLA%20TTIP%20Position%20-%20Paper%2010-03-14.pdf

    http://www.europeanpublicaffairs.eu/is-democracy-a-trade-barrier/