TTIP update: postponed vote and INTA meeting shuffle cards again

Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, at Mercosur Ministerial meeting, which was held earlier this month in Brussels (11/06/2015)

Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, at Mercosur Ministerial meeting, which was held earlier this month in Brussels (11/06/2015)

This week could have become a historic one for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The Meeting of the International Trade Committee taking place yesterday and today, just a few weeks after the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade passed a key resolution that was de facto giving the green light to the trade agreement.

Postponed vote

Last week, the much awaited key vote on TTIP was postponed by the European Parliament last minute. “In view of the more than 200 amendments and requests for separate vote have been tabled to the Lange Report on TTIP, the President [Schulz] has decided, in accordance with Rule 175* and after consulting the Chair of the Committee on International Trade (INTA), to ask the committee to meet to consider the amendments and requests tabled to the plenary. Therefore, the plenary vote on the report, scheduled for tomorrow noon, Wednesday June 10, will not take place”.

Something to think about

With these words the Parliament officially pushed the TTIP further away. Last Wednesday early morning, MEPs voted in favour of postponing the plenary debate on TTIP (183 yes, 181 no, 37 abstentions). Although it is not essential to have a formal Parliamentary resolution backing the European Commission in the talks at this stage, a formal positive vote was considered as extremely important for the project’s success. But the vote didn’t even take place. And this is a very important matter to analyze in order to get some understanding of what will come out of this week’s anticipated INTA meeting.

Schulz’s point

Let’s start with the words of the European Parliament president, Martin Schulz. He said last Tuesday he had been simply forced to postpone the planned resolution on the trade pact because of the way too many amendments were tabled by lawmakers, and he underlined this concept with the following words: “I decided to postpone the vote on the TTIP resolution to give more time to the International Trade Committee to further reflect on the outstanding issues and to reduce as much as possible the large number of amendments tabled”.

A partial explanation?

Despite last Wednesday’s statement, many believe that he only decided to cancel the vote amidst fears that a majority of MEPs might reject the bill. Again, the result would not have been binding, but a “no”, and so a red light, would have represented an unprecedented letdown for the European Commission.

President Schulz also tried to be more direct, and went on: “The European Parliament needs to contribute with a clear and unequivocal position”.. “What we should have is a strong text by the European Parliament and what we should avoid is that Parliament adopts a resolution which is neither here or there, or, even worse, is not able to adopt a resolution”, he added later last Wednesday.

However, the differences between the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Social Democrats, which actually seemed to be a bit less sharp recently, as we reported a few weeks ago, clearly played a big role in this TTIP-wreck.

The issue of arbitration and especially the alleged internal divisions among the socialist group might have led to the removal of the report, and in this way the official justification of the European Parliament’s President might give only a partial explanation.

Social Democratic divisions

Gianni Pittella, leader of the parliament’s socialist MEPs, tried to cool down the temperature in his party, which is seen to have suffered deep divisions over TTIP’s contentious investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. “The S&D is neither in favour nor opposed to having the debate today”, he said. “The key issue is that given the lack of agreement on the resolution, there must be more discussion,” underlined the President of the European Socialists.

Mixed feelings

Overall, the feelings inside the Parliament last week were mixed, as they currently are also this week, at the morrow of the INTA meeting. Many MEPs have voiced their anger after President Schulz’s decision, last week, like Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch Liberal MEP, who argued that “Martin Schulz single handedly decided to postpone the vote”, adding that the move had “created chaos”, as reported by Euronews.

On the other hand Manfred Weber, the German MEP who leads the centre-right bloc in the European Parliament, said that “the rules are clear”. “If there are too many amendments and the plenary can’t deal with them, then he has the right to send this back. So he earned our support so that we can discuss that properly in the Parliament,” he said last Wednesday.

What next

All in all, politically, the postponed vote is an excuse for members of the two largest political groups, the S&D and the EPP, who are deeply divided over many issues like the ISDS clause, the heart of the discord inside the European Parliament, to buy some time. For sure, June 9-10 failure represents a big step forward for TTIP opponents.

The transatlantic trade agreement is now back in the agenda of the International Trade committee, which is called to decide whether amendments and split vote requests should go for plenary vote.

The Committee meeting ends today, 16 June, and its outcomes are set to play a major role for future TTIP evolutions in the Old Continent.

*Rule 175 makes possible to refer a report back to the Committee when there are more than 50 amendments and requests tabled for split or separate votes.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

What we take for granted: The EU is not perfect

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

Close to 7,000 evacuated from Syrian towns after enduring nearly 3-year siege

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

The rise of alternative medical practices in modern sports

Look Mom, even the House of Lords says the #righttobeforgotten is not right

EU: 13 major banks may pay fines 10% of worldwide turnover

Car clocking: MEPs call for new legislation to combat odometer fraud

10th ASEM in Milan and the importance of being one: EU’s big challenge on the way to China

The EU Commission fails to draw the right conclusions about corruption

Does research make sense any more? The dire need for new ways to measure success

EU leads the torn away South Sudan to a new bloody civil war

China’s cities are rapidly becoming more competitive. Here’s why

JADE Testimonial #3: Sebastian @ Fundraising

Draghi will not hesitate to zero ECB’s basic interest rate

Travel the world, find yourself

The Franco-German axis considers that all EU needs now is more armaments

Trump goes ahead with plan to undo globalization; targets China and EU

We’ll succeed together

The Bavarians threaten Berlin and Brussels with immigration crisis

Mobile 360 Series – Russia & CIS: Empowering the Digital Economy

Rights experts call for greater protection of indigenous people during migration

Mental health of health professionals: the alter ego

The ECB ‘accidentally’ followed IMF‘s policy advice for growth and job creation by printing more money

UN, Egypt help avert another Israel-Palestine war in Gaza that was ‘minutes away’, Security Council hears

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

Europe should make voice ‘more heard’ in today’s ‘dangerous world,’ says UN chief

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

FEATURE: Niger’s girls find sanctuary in fistula treatment centres

Is the EU denying its social character favouring a banking conglomerate?

Facebook and Google to treat Europe as the 51st State of the USA

Why Eurozone can afford spending for growth

Let’s Learn

IMF v Germany: Eurogroup keeps the fight under control

Military escalation will have ‘serious consequences’ for Yemeni civilians, warns UN Special Envoy

Brexit Update: EU endorses unprecedented compromise to help Cameron out of the referendum mess he got himself into

Commission presents far-reaching anti-tax evasion measures

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

Trying to cure bank cancer with analgesics

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

Resolving banks with depositors’ money?

CDU-SPD agree the terms for EU’s Banking Union

What would happen if we removed cars from cities?

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

Discovering Europe: Free EU rail pass for 18 year olds

Heat-resistant crops, ‘green’ infrastructure, can prepare Near East and North Africa to better tackle droughts – UN agency

Lagarde’s metamorphoses, not a laughing matter

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

It’s not kids’ screen time you should worry about – it’s yours

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

Lithuania should find its own way in the EU

The Commission sees ‘moderate recovery’ but prospects deteriorate

20th EU-China Summit in Beijing, 16/07/2018

6 ways to ensure AI and new tech works for – not against – humanity

New UN agriculture agency report underscores value of fishing in fight against global hunger

What the world will look like after the Iran and 5+1 deal; the US emerges as major power broker in Middle East

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

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