TTIP Criticisms: Based on Myths or Reality?
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the most ambitious project of transatlantic cooperation today. While proponents highlight the benefits, certain features are increasingly under public scrutiny, threatening the finalization of the deal. Atlantic Community has worked hard to bring both sides together to host a critical and constructive debate on the merits of their respective claims.
From September 29 to October 9, some of the leading TTIP-critics expressed their main concerns, while proponents of the deal made a rebuttal. The second theme week, which launched on October 20, inverted this process and addressed proposed economic benefits as voiced by supporters. In the final theme week, critics and proponents debated whether TTIP will really lead to lower consumer, environmental and data protections or not. More specific information on the project in general and the individual theme weeks can be found here.
In the course of two weeks, we published articles written by critics and proponents from both sides of the Atlantic on a rotating basis:
- Adressing General Criticism
- Sep. 29: Barbara Unmüßig of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and Bärbel Höhn, member of the Greens in the German Bundestag, articulate a broad criticism of TTIP, ranging from the undemocratic process of negotiations and harmonization to dispute settlement and negative externalities for third countries.
- Sep. 30: Michael Hilbert and Christian Eichardt of the Initiative of Young Transatlanticists shed light on five common misconceptions held by TTIP critics and evaluate the overall level of debate.
- Sep. 30: Jürgen Knirsch from Greenpeace Germany critizes the highly questionable priorities set for TTIP and their detrimental effects on democracy, the environment, and society.
- On Transparency
- Oct. 01: Sean Flynn, JD, with the American University College of Law, criticizes the lack of transparency surrounding the negotiations and proposes how TTIP negotiators should learn their lesson from the failed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
- Oct. 02: Dr. Holger Janusch from the Center for Transformative Research and Sustainability acknowledges a certain lack of transparency in regards to the TTIP negotiations but continues to argue for the need for secrecy.
- On the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and Financial Markets
- Oct. 06: Matthew Myers from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C. uses the Tobacco Industry's global campaign against warning labels on cigarette packaging as the prime example for the need to reform ISDS in TTIP.
- Oct. 07: Alex Walford, Communication Officer with the EU Commission, exposes some of the myths surrounding the practice of ISDS, and claims that most fears are unfounded – critics only need to look at Poland's regulatory history.
- Oct. 07: Oliver Wieck Oliver Wieck from the International Chamber of Commerce Germany describes the origin and necessity of ISDS – while asserting a chance for reform brought about by the current debate.
- Oct 08: Markus Henn from Weltwirtschaft Ökologie und Entwicklung e. V. argues that TTIP does not reflect the lessons learned from the financial crisis of 2008/2009 and that it will erode financial regulation on both sides of the Atlantic through the ISDS mechanism and harmonization procedures.
- Oct. 09: Bill Krist of the Wilson Center wonders if there is still room to get TTIP right: "The solution is not to abandon the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism under TTIP, but to fix it."
- Oct. 10: Hendrike Kuehl from the Trans-Atlantic Business Council opines that while ISDS is a vital part of investment protection abroad, it is not considered a profitable avenue, but rather a necessary measure of last resort.
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