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Weak Draft TTIP Resolution Adopted

 (updated 28/05/2015, 30/05/2015 and  01/06/2015) The European Parliament’s trade committee today adopted a weak resolution on the parliament’s position on TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This disappointing resolution was adopted by what sources describe as a “grand coalition” of centre, centre right and centre left groupings. It  failed to include any criticism of the controversial ISDS investor protection mechanism. According to Friends of the Earth Europe, the draft resolution, which is to be debated in plenary on 10 June “is the unique opportunity for the European Parliament to give its opinion on the on-going trade talks between the EU and the US.” Friends of the Earth Europe however “condemned the outcome of the vote as a weak resolution failing to draw clear red lines on some of the biggest dangers of the proposed trade deal”. Because of today’s adoption, the resolution itself will be only include very  weak language, language which in no significant way reflects the depth of citizen concern and anger at TTIP and, especially, ISDS – Investor-State Dispute Settlement  – the […]

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German Farmers against TTIP and Genetic Engineering

  On the 17th April 450 farmers demonstrated in the global day of action across Germany against TTIP (The EU-US free trade agreement) and genetically engineered crops.   They marched together under the slogan of ‘TTIP and Gentechnik, bleibt uns vom Hof [TTIP and genetic engineering stay away from our farmers]’. The demonstation, organised by the AbL (Arbeitsgemeinschaft bĂ€uerliche Landwirtschaft), sought to emphasise how the TTIP would threaten the livelihoods of farmers and would pave the way for the introduction of American produced GMOs. Find more information at:        

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Irish Chefs Join the Stand Against TTIP

Saturday 18th April was the Global Day of Action for sharing information, raising public awareness and staging demonstrations against TTIP. Seven events were organized in Ireland and over 700 took place around the world, involving a diverse range of civic agencies, social and environmental NGOs and many other interested parties. In Ireland this included chefs, led by the non-profit chefs’ organization Euro-Toques Ireland. In the weeks leading up to it big names including Jamie Oliver and Darina Allen spoke out from the chefs’ corner, voicing their concerns for the future of food and agriculture in the European Union should the TTIP treaty be ratified. “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement poses a serious threat to the well-regulated Irish and European food industry,” said Darina Allen in a statement from Slow Food Ireland last week. “Who will benefit from this agreement? It will certainly not be consumers, who will see food information further weakened over longer food supply chains, nor will it be the large majority of small-scale producers, serving local markets, who make […]

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How TTIP would outlaw alternatives to capitalism

Guest post by David Cronin What is the real objective of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? We can get a good idea from watching a video recorded recently in Brussels. It features Cecilia Malmström, the European commissioner for trade, defending highly controversial plans to usher in a court system whereby corporations could sue against government decisions they do not like. According to Malmström, “companies need to have some sort of protection” against such issues as “nationalisation”. Intentional or not, that statement illustrates how the key negotiators of TTIP are in thrall to a right-wing ideology. The idea that certain economic activities could be nationalised – placed under public ownership – is anathema to them. TTIP would be a legally-binding accord effectively saying that capitalism is the only permissible system in the European Union and the United States. In the same video, Malmström insists she has “no secret agenda”. And to be fair, the Swede has been slightly more transparent than the EU’s previous trade chiefs. The irony is that the modicum of transparency she has […]

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TTIP Amendments Voted on in European Parliament Today

Today 14th April is a big TTIP day in Europe. In the Parliament you can follow the debate live here. Here are the amendments being voted on. Politicians of all hues are suggesting amendments. Ag will feature at 15.00 CET. Here is the debate sequence for today: ENVI: Tuesday 14th April, 09:00 AM CULT: Thursday 16th April, 09:00 AM JURI: Thursday 16th April, 10:00 AM AFCO: Thursday 16th April, 10:00 AM PETI: Thursday 16th April, 10:00 AM AGRI Tuesday 14th April, 15:00 PM Also today TTIP-related events 1: Sharon Anglin Treat (Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission) at 12.30 CET Parliament presentation. Treat will focus on: The EU regulatory cooperation proposal in TTIP; Clues to the US regulatory proposal in TTIP; US experience with domestic regulatory coordination (OIRA) and cost-benefit studies; food democracy at risk – how regulatory cooperation and coherence will promote large scale industrial agriculture, weaken and delay food safety and pesticide protections, jeopardize the precautionary principle and attack the value of subsidiarity. UPDATE: Watch Sharon Treat in this short video from the talk explain […]

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TTIP: “very negative impacts” says Irish Farmers Association

As EU Trade Commissioner Cecile Malmstrom visited Ireland last Friday, The Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Ireland’s largest farming organisation, has expressed serious concerns about the transatlantic trade and investment partnership, TTIP. The organisation made reference to newly published Copenhagen Economics report, commissioned by the Irish government, which identifies, in the words of IFA President Eddie Downey “very negative impacts for Ireland’s vital beef sector”. According to the IFA “following a meeting yesterday with the authors of the report, both Copenhagen Economics and officials from the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment accepted that TTIP presented very significant risks to both our beef and white meats sector.” Beef is the largest agri-food sector in Ireland, employing over 70,000. The Copenhagen Economics report was commissioned to assess the potential impacts of TTIP on Ireland. While positive on potential jobs growth, citing up to 10,000 new jobs for Ireland, it also predicts that the Irish beef sector will be badly hit by TTIP. The IFA’s new position paper on TTIP says “as a fundamental principle, EU negotiators must insist on equivalence of standards. […]

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Webinars on TTIP

ARC2020 together with IATP has hosted 4 webinars on TTIP. In case you missed it or you would like to recap, you find the recordings below. Webinar: TTIP and Animal Welfare 26.02.2015 The EU and US have very different rules on the treatment of farm animals. The EU recognizes animals as sentient beings and requires Member states to respect their welfare, banning some of the worst forms of cruelty, many of which are common in the United States. Progress has been more limited in the U.S., but animal welfare activists won a major victory with California’s passage of a new law banning eggs produced in battery cages. The EU has proposed non-binding language on animal welfare in the draft text in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but animal welfare advocates worry that this weak language will only make things worse. In fact, other language in TTIP intended to harmonize standards could jeopardize laws like the California ban and make it more difficult to raise animal welfare or food safety standards.  Presenters include: Joyce […]