“TTIP can boost the European project”; the Sting reports live from EBS 2015 on TTIP

European Sting shot at European Business Summit 2015, TTIP session. Daniela Vincenti is Editor in Chief of Euractiv. @ European Sting

European Sting shot at European Business Summit 2015, TTIP session. Daniela Vincenti is Editor in Chief of Euractiv. @ European Sting


As many were expecting, discussions over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) had a high priority at this year’s European Business Summit 2015. Almost immediately after the kick-off of the prestigious summit last week in Brussels, which completed its 15th anniversary this year, an interesting EU-US trade agreement tailor made session was launched.

“Is the TTIP compatible with the European Project?”, was the title of the session which was moderated by Daniela Vincenti, EurActiv’s Editor in Chief, last Wednesday’s afternoon. The European Sting was certainly there to report.

Jean-Luc Demarty, Director General for Trade at the European Commission has no doubts that “TTIP is about completing the European Union’s project”. Mr. Demarty focused his speech on pushing back critics of TTIP who believe that is lowering European standards and flattening the Old Conitnent’s diversity into a single “Transatlantic market” with the US. “TTIP is totally not about creating a single Transatlantic Market – I want to be clear – and not about lowering European standards”, he stressed.

Mrs. Luisa Santos, Director for International Affairs at BusinessEurope soon echoed him. “The TTIP is an agreement that can boost, actually that can re-launch the European project, from many aspects!”, she said at Palais d’Egmont last week. “TTIP is not a question of lowering the current EU standards, it is all about finding new opportunities for our economy maintaining the current standards, particularly for our small and medium businesses”, she underlined, before adding that Europe does not want the US to become the “29th country” of the Union, and so to create a flat Transatlantic market – as many critics are warning – but “just” to improve the situation through dialogue and new opportunities.

At the end of the meeting, Mrs. Santos was questioned by the European Sting and challenged on a particularly delicate question: we asked her “if she feels that an alleged lack of commitment by the EU was perceived at the other side of the Atlantic, since the debate in the Old Continent has become particularly harsh and some member states are allegedly losing interest in this mammoth trade agreement – as the Sting has recently reported. Her reply to that was clear-cut: “Discussions are at the same stage on both sides”, she said.

“The US is no uniformed market, and they have internal dissent, as long approval procedures through several institutions, as we do. We simply have a different approach”, she continued. We also cared to ask if she thinks that other international players, like the US in this case, might think that doing business with the EU always involves long periods of negotiation to have even a pre-agreement, and whether the EU’s approval procedures may be a bit too slow, also because of a complex regulation. Mrs. Santos replied that the EU has the same problems of the world’s other key players that have variegate economic textures. “We are perceived as a reliable, strong partner for trade”, she reaussured.

Richard Elsner, author, consultant for many companies and entrepreneur, does not exactly share the same view according to what he has declared during that EBS session. “My top-line thought is that we have to simplify regulation and processes if we really want to help business and facilitate agreements”, he said. He also pointed attention to SMEs, and criticised the EU-US trade agreement as it currently stands.

“There’s a lot to do to help SMEs inside negotiations – TTIP at the moment has too many aspects which are against the small businesses’ interests! 66% percent of the EU’s workers are employed in SMEs, and the EU has to simplify procedures and business itself if it want to answer this call”. “Here regulations are higher than in the USA in too many sectors and we simply have to change this”, Mr. Elsner warned.

TTIP, which is believed to boost the EU’s economy by €120 billion and the US economy by €95 billion (equal to 0.5% and 0.4% of GDP respectively), is currently encountering strong criticism widely for many controversial aspects, like the ISDS clause, the mechanism that would allow corporations to sue governments in tribunals if they believe to have been obstructed by local laws.

Many TTIP opponents say that the EU has failed to give proper answers about such controversies to its citizens and that still transparency is not guaranteed. Mr. Demarty, for his part, was sure: “Here it’s all about myths and facts; a facts is that TTIP is an opportunity we simply cannot miss”.

The Sting will follow closely TTIP evolutions with much interest, as done previously.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN human rights chief denounces grave ‘assaults’ on fundamental rights of Palestinian people

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

Countries must up their game to reduce low birth weights, warns UN-backed report

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

The impact of COVID-19 on the life of the elderly

UN aid teams scramble to reach ‘most remote places’ cut off by Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique

Nearly 900 children released by north-east Nigeria armed group

Trade Committee advocates lower tariffs in Western Sahara

5 post-COVID trends from Indian entrepreneurs

Rights experts call for greater protection of indigenous people during migration

Can I still send mail in the time of coronavirus?

FROM THE FIELD: Powering up health care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Capitalism’s greatest weakness? It confuses price with value

The Commission accused of tolerating corruption and fraud in taxation

4 key ways countries can finance their SDG ambitions

Digital Green Certificate is the right move but speeding up vaccination is key

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

‘Eco-shaming’ is on the rise, but does it work?

Population in crisis hit EU countries will suffer for decades

Total US cases quadruple in one week – Today’s coronavirus updates

How blockchain can manage the future electricity grid

The EU threatens to impose extra import duties on Chinese products

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: The fruits of sustainability and decent work

Venezuelan crisis: MEPs reaffirm their support for Juan Guaidó

Brexit: European Commission recommends the European Council (Article 50) to endorse the agreement reached on the revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland and revised Political Declaration

Banks must take bold action to fight climate change. This is how they can do it

The Collapse of the Brazilian Health Care System

UN working to prevent attacks on civilians in eastern DR Congo

Adjust UN force in Abyei to current realities, peacekeeping chief urges Security Council

Sweden has a plan to end all traffic accident deaths

The zero that every investment portfolio needs

UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

Chatterbox Rome Declaration cannot save the EU; Germany has to pay more to do that

4 fixes for equipment supply chains before the next COVID-19 waves hit

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

Climate finance for developing countries reached USD 71 billion in 2017

The Mobile World Congress in Shanghai will take place on 27-29 June 2018

Women in leadership: closing the gender gap in medicine

Why trust and technology go hand-in-hand

Growing a future free of terrorism: UN News special report from Cameroon

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

Water pollution is killing millions of Indians. Here’s how technology and reliable data can change that

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

‘Water-forecasting’ and fish farms fed on waste: how innovation is driving the blue economy

Blockchain is facing a backlash. Can it survive?

Creating zero-emission aviation with hydrogen and electric power

COVID-19: Commission creates first ever rescEU stockpile of medical equipment

Taxation: Commission refers Poland to Court for failing to remove certain tax exemptions on the use of energy products by highly polluting businesses

A new roadmap for corporate climate governance

It’s time to stop talking about ethics in AI and start doing it

These countries are driving global demand for coal

Protecting workers from biological agents: how to classify SARS-CoV-2

Don’t let smoking steal life’s breathtaking moments, urges UN health agency

Major humanitarian hub in north-east Nigeria burned in attack

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s