The Environmental Pillar Policy on the TTIP CETA and TISA

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The Environmental Pillar denounces the lack of transparency of the negotiations, the lack of democratic participation in the development of the negotiation mandate and the lack of democratic control over the negotiations regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA, and the EU and Canada, respectively, as well as the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).

We are opposed to trade agreements between the EU and the USA and Canada, and between the members of the World Trade Organisation which would serve the interests of corporations at
the cost of citizen’s rights and interests and those of our environment, and which would serve to:

– undermine democracy and the rule of law: The agreement allows foreign corporations to sue countries for punitive damages in secretive arbitration proceedings when countries pass laws that could reduce their profits.
– promote the extension and intensification of economic institutions and practices which undermine the health of the planet and its ability to – provide for humanity, by marginalising sustainable development rather than putting it at the heart of global economic activity in line with the commitments entered into at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and in many subsequent international agreements.
open 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.
– endanger our health and environment:Practices that are legally allowed in the U.S. and Canada would be legally permitted also in the EU. This would clear the way for fracking and the production and import of genetically-modified food and hormone-treated meat. The agreement weakens animal welfare standards and small scale family farming and grants the agribusiness industry even more power.
– undermine freedom: The agreements open the way for even more monitoring and surveillance of internet users. Excessive copyright regulations restrict free access to culture, education, and science.
– are practically irreversible: Once agreed upon, the contracts are essentially no longer amendable by elected politicians as any change requires the agreement of all parties. No country could unilaterally decide to withdraw from the contract, as it is the EU which enters into the agreement.

As a consequence the Environmental Pillar will:

– support the European Citizens’ Initiative against the TTIP and CETA (see attached)
– work with other Irish NGOs to raise awareness and campaign to open up these processes to public scrutiny and participation
– work to ensure that the EU does not sign up to any agreement that has any of the consequences outlined above.

This Policy was developed using the Environmental Pillar processes but is not necessarily the policy of each member group in the Pillar.

Information is taken from Environmental Pillar press release.