Saturday

18th Aug 2018

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. Germany and Greece strike deal on taking back migrants
  2. Merkel confronts far-right critics: '2015 will not be repeated'
  3. UN: Predictable disembarkation process urgently needed
  4. Slovenia set to select former comedian as prime minister
  5. Polish president to veto election rule helping big parties
  6. MEPs blast UK 'alphabetical approach' on citizens rights
  7. EU hits back over Salvini's blame for bridge collapse
  8. Poll: Sweden's social democrat-led government set to win again

Opinion

Has the time finally come for 'European champions'?

Since Emmanuel Macron took the French presidency in 2017, the concept of consolidating European industries to create continental 'champions', capable of competing on a global scale, has been revived.

EU 'tax lady' hits Google with record fine

Margrethe Vestager has fined the US tech giant with €4.34bn for abusing its market dominance in mobile operating systems - but assured US president Donald Trump that it is not because she does not like America.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation
  2. 'Nativism' and the upcoming Swedish and Bavarian elections
  3. Former Malta opposition leader fears for his life
  4. Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs
  5. Building a Europe more resilient to terrorism
  6. Brexit talks resume as chance of 'no deal' put at 50:50
  7. US trial sheds light on murky Cyprus-Russia links
  8. Burned cars fuel Swedish election debate

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us