• 28 April 2015

    Public Program | Discussion: “TTIP – A Matter of Negotiation”

    “TTIP – A Matter of Negotiation“ was the topic of an event organized by the European Commission representation in Berlin, the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the Aspen Institute Germany on April 28, 2015.
    In his keynote speech, Ignacio García Bercero, the chief negotiator on TTIP for the European Commission, stressed the necessity of a public debate. Particularly in Germany he could already see a broad discourse. He cited three main arguments in favor of TTIP: First, TTIP would make transatlantic trade easier for companies on both sides. Second, the regulation of global consumer protection would lead to an increase of economic power both in the U.S. and the EU. Third, TTIP would serve the regulation of globalization.
    In the subsequent panel discussion, Josef Janning, European Council on Foreign Relations, emphasized that TTIP would work as a coupling instrument in order to prevent Japan, India, China, South Korea, and the U.S. from surpassing the EU. Matthias Machnig, Secretary of State at the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs, called for a discussion on prejudices such as a bias towards big companies, deregulation and de-democratization, and referred to the importance of unified global standards. Furthermore, he demanded a bilateral trade court with publicly appointed judges instead of the problematic dispute settlement mechanisms. Jürgen Hardt, member of the German Bundestag (CDU/CSU) and Coordinator for the Transatlantic Cooperation at the Federal Foreign Office, called TTIP “a topic for the public“ and asked for a distinction between polemics and critical public discourse. TTIP would be a great chance, especially for an exporting nation like Germany. Dieter Janecek, member of the Bundestag (Alliance 90/Greens), was more critical although he did not generally oppose TTIP. He demanded that the high security and law standards of the EU be maintained under all circumstances. He feared difficulties in the harmonization of data and consumer protection laws which were not compatible according to him. The subsequent Q&A session with the guests in Berlin and on Twitter demonstrated the willingness of the public for a critical dialog.