The President of the Bundestag criticize TIP, commentators believe that this will be the hammer blow of neo-liberalism, which will destroy the welfare state in Europe.
Originally appeared at Politika.rs, translated by Igor exclusively for SouthFront
Frankfurt, Heidelberg – From juice full of fiber, over cauliflower that is not treated with pesticides, to beef that has no growth hormones – Europeans want natural foods and it is largely the reason why in some European countries, such as Germany, there is a growing movement opponents Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Although US and EU officials have yet to reach a final agreement on this agreement on a free trade zone that would encompass 800 million people and nearly half of world economic output, o Europeans the abbreviation TTIP become a symbol of something bad.
Critics of this agreement were recently joined by the first man of the German Parliament Norbert Lammert, who belongs to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The President of the Bundestag has not only threatened that he would not vote for ratification of TTIP, he has already said that “out of the question that the Bundestag ratified the trade agreement between the EU and the US, whose drafting there was neither involvement nor power to propose amendments for” .
Lammert said that TTIP is missing public and democratic legitimacy, which is exactly what stress the growing number of German citizens to protect consumers and the environment, who rose up against this agreement. Moreover, three weeks ago, even about 250,000 Germans came out in Berlin to protest against the conclusion TTIP.
“We are here because we do not want to leave our future in the markets, on the contrary, to preserve democracy,” he said then, Michael Miller, president of the environmental organization “German Friends of Nature”, which actually referred to Merkel’s statement in which she mentioned “democracy adjusted by markets. “
While the German government assures citizens that TTIP stimulate economic growth and provide a better opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises in the global market by reducing bureaucracy, critics fear that the agreement could impact on reducing standards for food safety and environmental protection, as well as to will jeopardize local laws.
In fact, the biggest stumbling block is the plan to introduce a so-called system of ISDS (the program for resolving disputes between investors and states) that would allow multinational companies to be able to bypass local courts and before international arbitration commissions even challenge the laws, rules and court rulings in sovereign states because it has an impact on their profits. The obligation is introduced to investors to provide compensation for loss of profit due to a new regulation, even if he is, for example, in order to protect human health.
International corporations argue that the system of ISDS essential to their assets and investments were protected in countries where the rule of law and independent courts have not yet been established. However, this argument is completely absurd in the case of the EU, since no one calls into question the legal system within the EU.
But this is not accidentally overwritten by the US recently signed a trade agreement with the 11 Pacific countries testifies example, Australia and Canada, whose judiciary was not questioned. Tobacco company “Philip Morris” sued Australia because it has introduced a regulation concerning the placing of warning about the dangers of smoking on cigarette packs and prohibit the use of logos of brands of cigarettes. A similar fate was suffered by Uruguay, so that Canada, under the threat of a similar procedure, gave up the introduction of similar warnings on cigarettes, as it is now quite common in the EU.
So far it is not known what the tobacco industry says in TTIP and documents relating to the agreement. The German MPs can read it only if you personally go to the US embassy in Berlin. The President of the Bundestag said that all the relevant documentation, in particular the results of the negotiation process, “must be made available to the governments and parliaments of all EU member states”, adding that the system “for the government and parliament totally unworthy of discussion.”
On the other hand, the newly appointed US Consul General in Munich Jennifer Gavito for German media claims that it is difficult to imagine who would benefit more from TTIP.
“Support in Germany is lower than anywhere else in the EU, which is surprising because the German middle class may be more to gain than others. Opposition was based more on emotion than on the facts. We want to give people the facts so that they can better assess the benefits, “she said, acknowledging that there is a resistance to globalization.
In the meanwhile however, she did not specify when the public will get access to facts about TTIP, where the Germans are increasingly opposed to a recent survey showed that 46 per cent of Germans surveyed said that this agreement is bad, while last year it said only 25 percent of respondents were against it.
However, opposition of TTIP is even higher in neighboring Austria where, according to the study of “Eurobarometer”, as much as 67 percent against and only 23 percent are for the agreement on free trade zone between the EU and the US. Except in Germany and Austria, opposition TTIP Chamber of support only in Luxembourg, while the opposite balance of power in the remaining 25 member states.
German commentators warn that TTIP is a political, not an economic problem. According to commentators, “Der Spiegel” and editors of commentry portal “Freitag” Jacob Augstine, TTIP is suffering from a “disease rooted in the bureaucracy and ideology known as neo-liberalism.” “It can destroy democracy. Experts deal with the efficiency but democracy is based on justice. During the financial crisis we have been convinced as they contradict democracy and capitalism, “says Augstine, noting that TTIP could become a mallet neo-liberalism that will destroy the welfare state in Europe.