Negotiations on an EU-US trade and investment partnership (TTIP) restarted today with a second negotiating round in Brussels. The Greens have called for the talks to be frozen in response to ongoing revelations about surveillance by US secret services of EU governments and citizens. The group is also calling for the issue to be debated as a priority at next week's European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg. Commenting on the situation, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:
"Immediately freezing the TTIP negotiations is the only appropriate response to the ongoing revelations about US secret services' surveillance of EU citizens and public representatives up to the highest level. A transatlantic partnership implies a relationship based on mutual trust, respect and shared values. However, US authorities have treated European governments and citizens as if they were Cold War foes. It is impossible to see how negotiations on a transatlantic partnership can continue in good faith against this backdrop."
Green trade spokesperson and lead on EU-US trade talks Yannick Jadot added:
"The EU has been far too passive in response to the NSA scandal. The US authorities have ridden roughshod over fundamental EU rights and rules. We cannot simply put on a brave face and brush this surveillance scandal under the carpet. This would not be a sound basis for a partnership between the EU and the US and clearly not in the interests of EU citizens. The Greens want the EU to take a clear and firm stance, and this implies freezing the TTIP talks as a first step. To this end, we are calling for the European Parliament to debate the issue at its plenary session next week. We hope this will be the start of a more coherent European response."
(1) The Greens/EFA group has called for a debate and resolution on the EU-US trade negotiations and the implications of the NSA revelations to be added to the agenda of next week's plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.