New ECI against TTIP and CETA coming soon!
During this summer a new ECI will kick off with the aim of repealing the European Union’s negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and not concluding the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The initiative is currently looking for support from citizens and partner organizations across Europe. So far the campaign is already supported by over 100 organisations from 17 EU member states. The ECI campaign is being coordinated by an alliance of several organisations including Attac, the Munich Environment Institute, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Unit (NABU) and More Democracy Germany (Mehr Demokratie e.V.). For the very first time a large online platform – Campact – is a co-initiating NGO of a European Citizens’ Initiative. In a ‘pre-campaign’ some of the alliance partners have already organized a petition on the same issue with more than 700,000 signatories.
The aim of the ECI is to prevent TTIP and CETA from being agreed in their current form. In the eyes of the organizers of this future ECI the proposed free-trade agreement “TTIP” between the EU and the USA serves the interests of corporations and not the citizens. In particular they claim:
- “TTIP undermines democracy and the rule of law: The agreement allows foreign corporations to sue countries for high compensation in secretive, arbitration proceedings when countries pass laws that could reduce their profits.
- TTIP opens the door to privatization: The agreement will make it easier for corporations to earn profits from the public water supply and health and education systems, all at the public’s expense.
- TTIP endangers our health : Practices that are legally allowed in the U.S. would legally be permitted in the EU. This clears the way for fracking, genetically-modified food production, and hormone-treated cattle. The agreement weakens peasant and family-farming agriculture and grants the agricultural industry even more power.
- TTIP undermines freedom: The agreement opens the way for even more monitoring and surveillance of internet users. Excessive copyright regulations restrict free access to culture, education, and science.
- TTIP is practically irreversible: Once agreed upon, the contracts are essentially no longer amendable as any change requires the agreement of all parties. This means that an individual European member state could not unilaterally decide to withdraw from the contract, as it is the EU as a whole, and not a single country, which enters into the agreement.”
The initiators stress that their ECI is not directed against trade agreements or the US in general. The organisers plan to start the collection of signatures in September 2014. Currently, they are looking for two full-time campaign managers (40 hours/week) by no later than 15 August 2014, more here.
While The ECI Campaign is neutral as regards content it is currently advising this and other future ECIs based on its latest research insights published in “An ECI that Works! Learning from the first two years with the European Citizens’ Initiative”.