Press release – 8 June 2015
2 million sign European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) against EU-US trade deal
“Stop TTIP” calls on European Parliament to reject ISDS in upcoming resolution.
The European Citizens’ Initiative “Stop TTIP” has reached a new record number of signatures a few days ahead of a critical vote on TTIP in the European Parliament. With 2 million signatories, this is the largest European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) since the introduction of the instrument in 2012. In order for an ECI to be successful, half this number would suffice. Moreover, Stop TTIP has collected the required minimum number of signatures in 14 EU Member States, double the amount needed to receive an official response from the European Commission and a hearing in the European Parliament.
On 10 June 2015, the European Parliament will vote on a resolution concerning TTIP. Michael Efler, member of Stop TTIP’s Citizens’ Committee commented:
“2 million people are demanding to stop the negotiations on TTIP. Members of the European Parliament should remember this when making their vote. The draft resolution is weak in that it welcomes the inclusion of investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) in TTIP. This would allow corporations to sue governments in private courts for practically any state action that interferes with investments and lowers their expected profit, a practice that would undermine the rule of law and democratic principles.”
“We call on the European Parliament to reject TTIP because it is a threat to our democracy as well as protection standards for labour rights, the environment and public health. At the very least, the European Parliament should take a clear stance against ISDS. All the improvements to ISDS that have been proposed by the European Commission and the European Social Democrats are insufficient. The problem remains that ISDS would constitute a parallel justice system for investors that would be unnecessary and dangerous for democracy and that could prove very costly for taxpayers. If no clear statement against ISDS is included in the resolution, the European Parliament would do better to reject it all together.”
Stop TTIP is carried out by an alliance of more than 470 civil society organisations – consumer watchdogs, environmental groups and trade unions – from across Europe. Signature collection will continue until 6 October to increase political pressure further. The largest ECIs so far have been “Water is a Human Right” (2013) and “One of Us” (2013) with 1.8 million signatures each. The European Commission had rejected Stop TTIP as an official ECI in autumn last year. The alliance is currently challenging this decision in the European Court of Justice and is meanwhile carrying out the ECI signature collection on a self-organised basis.
If you haven’t done it yet, we encourage you to sign the petition.