Notes from a generally non-informative “civil society” meeting on TTIP


Brief chronicle of an obscure, scarcely informative “civil society” meeting on the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in Brussels on January 14th, 2014


A few tidbits of Commission statements:


The European Court of Justice might “not be impartial to judge the legality of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement that affects 3rd parties like the USA because ECJ Justices are appointed by EU Member States.”


You can rest assured that we have the Pharmaceutical industry wish-list is very present in the negotiations.”


The free flow of data across the Atlantic has nothing to do with data protection or privacy.”


I stand by my (Pedro Velasco) statements about the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogues negative anti IPR positions in TTIP.” (upon being asked about his declaration to a business meeting on TTIP that the TACD meeting he attended was “unpleasant to see” and that “industry should worry about this consumers group.”)



There were over 200 people present in the “TTIP Civil Society Meeting” organized by the European Commission on Tuesday in Brussels. Over 90% were industry representatives. There were many good, concrete questions but practically no clear answers about the real content. Most answers were merely nominative and evasive. At no point does the Commission tell the audience its concrete positions on any issue. There were no questions posed to the Commission on the issue of transparency.


The Commission stated that the first phase of the negotiations was over in which the topics to be covered and the process were agreed upon. Discussions on ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement) were only beginning. One EU industry representive sentenced that there would be no TTIP without ISDS.  Intensive discussions on pharmaceuticals were already taking place. They would press the issue of geographical indications for wine and other products. Healthcare and other universal services have not been discussed yet in the context of public procurement. Labour, energy and environmental norms were on agenda but no real information was given on the EU positions.



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