"Undemocratic" trade agreement negotiated in secret - No to TTIP!
Right now, business special interests, lobbyists and government negotiators are busy - behind closed doors - deciding your future.
Well, in fact, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, otherwise known as TTIP, which is being hammered out between them - in private - will, in some way, directly affect everyone in the EU and the US.
It's probably well to state, right here, that CitizenGO are not at all against free trade or free trade agreements, but we are against treaties which would potentially facilitate multinational corporations in interfering with the laws of sovereign states. And, in fact, that exactly what the proposals contained in parts of this undemocratic "free trade agreement" will do!
So, in spite of the fact that most of the criticism levelled at TTIP, until now, has come from the Left, that does not mean that conservatives or Christians should seek to embrace this most untransparent of treaties.
Indeed, the way this treaty has been negotiated in secret should sound alarm bells for anyone of goodwill, whatever your political persuasion.
Here are some of the most important facts concerning this agreement:
- TTIP has been mainly negotiated by Big Business and lobbyists. Not even MEPs have had the opportunity to enter into the negotiations, let alone the public. National parliaments are not involved.
- TTIP will allow for the reduction of workers' rights, based on US standards. The winners, in this equation, will be the big corporations.
- TTIP threatens a massive lowering of European environmental and health standards. Chlorine chicken, GM maize/corn, industrial sugar ("isoglucose"), fracking, etc. could, thus, soon become a reality in Europe.
- TTIP presents another danger: namely, the loosening of Europe's strict data protection rules, so as to approximate more lax US laws - a further step towards creating the so-called "transparent citizen," where everything can be known about you and your neighbour.
And, now, another controversial clause is under discussion. This clause would allow multinational corporations and individuals to sue states in front of private arbitration tribunals which would meet in secret. For example, if new state laws compromised a multinational's investments or threaten their profits, that company could sue the State for compensation. And, as it stands now, the judgments of these "private" courts would not be reviewable by other, higher courts.
In the case of a such a "private" court victory by a multinational corporation, the state (i.e., the taxpayer) could be held liable for billions.
Hypothetically, then, European laws which regulate GMO and, or, hormone-changed food currently limit the opportunity for some American corporations to make a profit. Should TTIP be ratified, as is, these corporations could threaten damages running into billions against EU states.
In such a situation, therefore, the parliaments of European countries would virtually always need to decide in favour of the multinationals, rather than in the interests of their own people.
That would put far too much power in the hands of multinational corporations.
In this petition, we, therefore, ask all MEPs to withold their consent to TTIP. Rule of law and democracy are the foundation of our society and are non-negotiable...not for sale.
Please protect the rule of law and the independence of our parliaments! Please help prevent secret courts from holding Europe's taxpayers hostage, without there ever being an opportunity to appeal against it! Only in this way can we maintain our high, European standard of living.
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