Sunday

18th Aug 2019

French minister: 'TTIP talks are not transparent'

  • Trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom is negotiating a free trade deal in the name of the EU. (Photo: European Commission)

Negotiations for an EU-US free trade agreement "are not transparent" and could end if no progress is made, French trade minister Mathias Fekl said.

Talks between the European Commission and US authorities are going on "in a complete lack of transparency and a big opacity, and this poses a democratic problem," Fekl said in an interview with French regional newspaper Sud Ouest published Monday (28 September).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"US parliamentarians have access to many more documents than European parliamentarians," he said, adding that Europeans can have access to the documents only in a secured room at the US embassy.

Negotiations for the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) started in July 2013 and will not be completed this year, as previously expected by the EU.

"Europe made multiple offers, on all issues, and in return got no serious offer for the Americans, neither on access to their public procurements, nor on access to agricultural and food-processing markets, which remain closed," Fekl detailed.

"There is too much asymmetry, not enough reciprocity," between the EU and the US, he said, adding that the US does not show interest in EU demands on public services and the arbitration system.

On 16 September, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom presented plans for an "investment court system" that would replace the ISDS (investor-to-state dispute settlement) mechanism that has been planned so far in the TTIP.

ISDS, which is a private arbitration system, has been opposed by NGOs, MEPs and some countries including France.

"If nothing changes, that will show that there is no will to achieve mutually beneficial negotiations," Fekl said.

"France is considering all options, including an outright end of negotiations".

TTIP protesters warn of Trojan Horse

Anti-TTIP demonstrators do not trust European negotiators, who will engage in the 11th round of discussions next week in Miami.

News in Brief

  1. Trump turned down: Greenland not for sale
  2. UK Libdems would back Clarke or Harman as new PM
  3. Six countries agree to take 'Open Arms' ship migrants
  4. Gibraltar judge: Iranian ship should be released
  5. Increasing fears of a global recession
  6. Far-right hate crimes on the rise in Germany
  7. EU steel tariffs have 'worked well' so far
  8. Italian court: Migrant rescue ship can enter Italian waters

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings
  2. EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock
  3. Internal EU paper: Second Brexit vote was no longer 'distant dream'
  4. EU has 'zero incentive' to break open 'trilogue' deals
  5. Denmark plans import ban on EU-approved pesticide
  6. US offers Johnson helping hand on Brexit
  7. Italy: New government without Salvini in the making
  8. Brexit row delays financial products transparency review

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us