The European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) today adopted their opinion to the Committee on International Trade (INTA) resolution on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, known as TTIP. The following amendment, tabled by the UK’s 3 Green MEPs calling for the explicit exclusion of public services from the scope of TTIP was adopted :
(iv a) to ensure an explicit exclusion of public services as referred to in Article 14 TFEU from the scope of application of TTIP, in order to ensure that national and local authorities have the freedom to introduce, adopt, maintain or repeal any measure with regard to the commissioning, organisation, funding and provision of public services, as provided in Article 168 TFEU (public health) and in Protocol 26 (Services of General Interest) of the EU Treaties.
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London and a member of the EMPL committee said:
‘I’m conscious of the date and that TTIP could seem like a big April Fools’ being played on Europe’s citizens, unfortunately though it is serious and real. Today, the Committee voted against the inclusion of the Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and in favour of excluding public services from TTIP. This is a base from which we can hopefully build a parliamentary majority to protect public services, like the NHS, from this trade agreement’.
‘Trade should not be seen as an end in itself but a way to protect global labour standards; and in particular to guarantee social, environmental, and workplace standards.’
Pressure from other Parliamentary groups, many of whom abstained from today’s vote, shows that the Greens are successfully fighting these damaging proposals within the Parliament.