(Doru Frantescu – VoteWatch Europe via Euractiv.com)
Almost 900 amendments have been drafted to the European Parliament’s position on the ongoing negotiations conducted by the Commission for a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States (TTIP).
Although the European Parliament is not formally involved in negotiations, the European Commission is legally obliged to keep Parliament updated, and Parliament has the power to reject the trade deal once it has been finalised. As seen in the case of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the rejection of a done deal is not only a theoretical possibility, but can turn into reality if a (political) majority of MEPs disagree with the content of the deal, or the low level of transparency of the process. Before the actual ratification vote, the Parliament usually votes, once or more times, a non-binding resolution stating its position and the ‘no go’ zones, as is the case of the resolution currently being worked on in the international trade committee (INTA).
The immediate consequence of this avalanche of amendments was that the votes on this document had to be postponed, to allow time for proper assessment of all proposals. The text is now expected to be voted upon on 28 May in the INTA committee and on 9 June in the EP plenary, exactly two years after the EP voted its last resolution on TTIP. Click here to read more.