09.07.2015 EAEAPOLICY

European Parliament votes on TTIP

The European Parliament voted on a resolution on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The result of the vote is a message for the European Commission, who is negotiating the agreement with the United States, on what kind of agreement the MEPs are after. 

The report that the MEPs voted upon, drafted by TTIP-spokesperson and rapporteur MEP Bernd Lange (Socialists & Democrats, Germany) and approved by European Parliament’s International Trade Committee (INTA) on 28 May 2015, was adopted on 8 of July 2015 by the Parliament with 436 votes in favor, 241 votes against and 32 abstentions.

The adopted report includes a fairly strong sentence that aims to exclude publicly funded education from the agreement. For example, the report says that “the European Parliament […] addresses […] the following recommendations to the Commission regarding market access: to build on the joint statement reflecting the negotiators’ clear commitment to exclude current and future Services of General Interest as well as Services of General Economic Interest from the scope of application of TTIP, (including but not limited to water, health, social services, social security systems and education), to ensure that national and if applicable local authorities retain the full right to introduce, adopt, maintain or repeal any measures with regards to the commissioning, organisation, funding and provision of public services as provided in the Treaties as well as in the EU's negotiating mandate; this exclusion should apply irrespective of how the services are provided and funded; […] (and) specify that nothing in the agreement shall affect the ability of the EU or EU Member States to subsidise and provide financial support to cultural industries and cultural, educational, audiovisual and press services.

The Commission will take the Parliament’s report into consideration in the negotiations. The final agreement will be voted upon by the Parliament and the European Council before it comes into force.

The 10th round of the EU-US trade negotiations on the TTIP is scheduled for 13-17 July 2015 in Brussels. EAEA will continue to monitor the developments regarding the negotiations.

Picture: European Union 2015 / EP

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