Thursday, 26 March 2015

Watch out - TTIP!

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between European Union and United States of America – TTIP’s purpose is to harmonise to the greatest extent possible transatlantic rules, regulations and standards on food and consumer product safety, environmental protection, biotechnology and toxic chemicals management, financial services and banking, domestic regulation of services, pharmaceutical patent terms, and many more areas of public policy. In other words, it is about to create the largest market in the world between the largest economies on our globe.

It would be an excellent idea but the negotiations are hidden for the public and according to leaks there are worrying aspects: TTIP includes a mechanism called - Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS is not a court but it may allow corporations to sue states. What does it mean? Let’ see examples that already happened:
1. Philip Morris vs. Uruguay and 2 billion $ for Tabaco company for anti-smoking legislation.
2. Vatenfall vs. Germany and 3,7 billion $ for decision to withdrawn from nuclear energy.
3. Lone Pine vs. Canada and 250 million $ for shell gas exploitation ban.

In this context, TTIP is gathering large numbers of protester across the Europe. In bottom-up pan-European opponents gathered almost 1 600 000 (!) signatures against this agreement. Polish organisations also contribute to the pan-European movement “Stop – TTIP” (almost 400 organisations in EU).

This topic became popular in Poland after Jacek Żakowski published the article “Letter of 50 mln to 500 mln” referring to famous letter published on the signed by 57 mln of American citizens, NGOs and trade unions addressed to citizens of the European Union.

There are 66 Polish organisations gathered in movement “Uwaga TTIP!” (Watch out - TTIP). Its leader – Global Responsibility Institute – member of Grupa Zagranica - conducts a series of meeting, foras, contribute to media in its information campaign about TTIP. On 18 April, Polish organisation will join the transatlantic action, warning against threats of TTIP.

Information provided by Artur Kacprzak, Grupa Zagranica

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