Commission opposes a European Citizens’ Initiative against the TTIP

Commission opposes a European Citizens' Initiative against the TTIP

Above photo: Demonstration against TTUP in Brussels July 18, 2014 [Joel Schalit]

By Aline Robert

Originally published in Euractiv.fr

The European Citizens’ Initiative STOP TTIP received an end of inadmissibility from the European Commission. The organizers now want to challenge the decision in Brussels before the European courts.

Announced in the month of July, the ECI STOP TTIP was officially put to an end in the month of September. It will not happen: the Commission blocked the project submitted by ATTAC in Germany and supported by the Greens.

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is an initiative would allow the collection of signatures from more than one million people to file a bill with the Commission. The one on the transatlantic partnership on trade and investment (TTIP) was eagerly awaited, while negotiating trade agreements with Canada and the United States are in full swing.

Read >>:  >> Arrangements between friends on the TTIP  (EN)

In  its  response  to ONG, the Commission advanced its arguments of  institutional order, in particular noting that the decision to negotiate a transatlantic agreement with the United States is not only its responsibility but also that of the European Council .

A political decision?

“Of course the Commission will not only decide the case. But the rejection of this initiative is primarily a political decision “advanced Yannick Jadot, Green MEP, who is surprised by the lack of political vision of the EU executive on the subject.

“The ICE helps give voice to citizens, possibly to their fears, we should not limit this space for expression that is already narrow,” he says.

Organisers rely on European case law, which had accepted in a 2013 filing an ICE agreement on free movement between Switzerland and the EU, a project commonly called “swissout.” The project had been withdrawn by the organizers, but the fact that the European Commission accepted it created a precedent for ICE on international agreements.

“The European Parliament has evolved, and the subject of TTIP became important enough that the Commission considers it seriously. This decision shows that the Commission is concerned that European citizens take possession of these topics there, as shown by the contempt with which some 170,000 comments already collected on the subject through the public consultation have been treated, “added Yannick Jadot. According to the MEP, ICE shall be reformulated, but it is important for citizen engagement on the subject to be able to be expressed.

Read  also  >> The Commission denies  any  exaggeration of the benefits of TTIP

“Instead of listening to the public, the Commission shall give way to lobbies” regretted the representative STOP TTIP, Michael Efler, which does not stop there. “The battle really begins now,” according to the organizer, who now plans to challenge the decision of the European Commission to the European court.