TTIP protests are going global
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) remains high on the agenda of many different players in 2015. TTIP is being negotiated by economic and administrative representatives from the European Commission and the United States behind closed doors since 2013. They are pushing to finalise the negotiations quickly because it is getting harder to oppose the protests by the European civil society, but also because of the impact of TTIP on the rest of the world.
Since the Commission rejected a European Civil Initiative (ECI) against the agreement last year, the European civil society closed their ranks. Today the ECI has over 1,4 million signatures, while the organisers count on gathering over 2 million by the end of the negotiations in October 2015. The resistance against TTIP is also growing on the streets: besides many local, regional or national activities, the movement reached its summit with the European action day in October 2014. During the last months hundreds of municipalities and regions in Europe declared themselves as “TTIP free zones”. Furthermore the French senate reached the unanimous decision that it will not pass any agreement including the ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement).
The movement builds on this success. On 2 – 3 February around 200 representatives of over 130 European civil society organisations gathered in Brussels to exchange their experiences and more importantly to plan further – especially common – activities. The activists made use of the two days to bring in synergies from their common work and to put up a common action plan for 2015. The movement will reach a first milestone on 18 April 2015, the global action day against free trade agreements such as TTIP, CETA, Tisa or TPP. This is an occasion for putting the focus on the dangers of TTIP: not only for the negotiating countries, but for all regions of the world. A common day for the world’s civil society to say: #noTTIP!
A taste of the upcoming global action day and all further activities that have been planned by the participants for the coming year was provided by the common anti-TTIP rally on 4 February. The Trojan Horse, currently touring the EU, brought its message to Brussels. TTIP is a threat for democracy, jobs, social standards, environmental laws or food safety. That is why we would like to refer to our brochure on TTIP, written by John Hilary (executive director of War on Want, UK): The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): A charter for deregulation, an attack on jobs, an end to democracy.