EPSU | 13 Jun 2014
Leaked documents TTIP reveal substantial EU commitments, public services not excluded
(13 June 2014) The leaked documents give an indication of the substantial commitments the European Union is prepared to make to offer access for US companies to European markets, and expecting the same from the US government and states. EPSU received the documents from government circles. Our sources are concerned about the lack of transparency and informed public debate in the negotiations to reach a free trade agreement between the US and the European Union, known as TTIP or TAFTA in the US. The EU says that it seeks "Unprecedented depth in market access and regulatory matters". The document also reveals how different trade negotiations create a maze of agreements that reign in governments and make it virtually impossible to come back to decisions on market opening made now. The offers on the table are comparable to those made in the negotiations between the EU and Canada (CETA) and which are discussed between the EU and a large number of governments of the OECD members and allies (TISA)
"For a negotiation that should lead to an "unprecedented" integration of US and European markets, we expect unprecedented commitments to improve workers’ rights in the EU and US, investments in quality public services and infrastructure, democratic participation and control as well as openess and public debate but nothing like that is on the table," says Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary.
There is no general exclusion of public services and waste water services are committed for market opening. "Such an EU liberalisation agenda should be publicly debated at national and EU level, including the guarantees and rights that would accompany this agenda. Any discussion on water and sanitation services should include the realisation of the UN human right for water and sanitation in legislation, as demanded by the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water and in which 1.9 million Europeans said no to inclusion of water and sanitation services in trade agreements. It is not clear if the national parliaments have agreed. The EP has not agreed the offers which apparently are also discussed with Canada and with other OECD countries (TISA)".
"That is why we agreed with our sources to publish the document to stimulate debate and reiterate the call of civil society for transparency." The document is discussed in secret in the Trade Policy Committee of the European Council. It was sent to governments on 25 May and governments are expected to react before 13 June. The next round of negotiations between the US and the EU will be in July 2014.