A Compliance Check of the European Parliament’s TTIP Resolution: Public health, environment and democracy at risk

TTIP Resolution Compliance Check
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In a Resolution adopted in July 2015, the European Parliament made explicit recommendations to European Commission trade negotiators to ensure that negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership did not undermine the ability of European Member states to regulate in the public interest. The present analysis examines the conduct of the negotiations in the ensuing year to determine whether and to what extent the EU Commission has responded to the Parliament’s recommendations, particularly with respect to European Union environmental health policy and democracy.

This compliance assessment is based on the latest, publicly available documents. In light of ongoing limitations on public access to negotiating positions and proposals, however, this assessment must be considered preliminary in nature. A full assessment would necessitate the comprehensive release of negotiating texts, and the review of those texts in light of the recent reforms to the United States’ decades old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the systemic uncertainties, engendered by the recent Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom.

Our analysis concludes that the EU Commission has failed to follow the EU Parliament’s recommendations. Specifically, we find that the EU Commission has failed to abide the Parliament’s recommendations (1) not to negotiate in areas where the EU and the US have very different rules or to allow regulatory cooperation to affect standards that have yet to be set in such areas; (2) to prevent TTIP from affecting the EU regulatory process; and (3) to meaningfully reform the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism.