The European Commission today announced that it would not admit a new European Citizens' Initiative on the controversial EU-US TTIP* trade negotiations (1). The Greens/EFA group hit out at the decision and called on incoming Commission president Juncker to overturn it, with Green trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot stating:
"The Commission is seeking to block-out the voice of European citizens by refusing to admit this Citizens' Initiative. Despite the selective reasoning given by the Commission for not admitting the initiative (2), nobody should be in any doubt that this is a politically-motivated decision. The Commission does not want to be inconvenienced by having to confront the reality of massive public opposition to the TTIP negotiations.
"This cannot stand. Incoming commission president Juncker has made clear that the concerns of citizens must be taken into account and we call on him to overturn this decision and ensure the citizens' initiative goes ahead.
"There is a large and growing sense of unease and concern among the European public and civil society about the ongoing TTIP negotiations. This concern reflects the broad scope of the negotiations and their possible implications on European standards, and is reinforced by the opaque negotiation process. The voices of these citizens must be heard and we will work to ensure today's setback is not the final say."
(1) The European Citizens' Initiative allows one million EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies, by calling on the European Commission to make a legislative proposal. http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/welcome
The TTIP citizens' initiative, which is supported by the Greens/EFA group, calls on the Commission to recommend to the EU Council of Ministers to repeal the negotiating mandate for TTIP and not to conclude the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. Read more: http://stop-ttip.org/.
(2) See more details on the Commission's decision not to admit the initiative: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/documents/2552
*TTIP - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. For more detailed information on the Greens/EFA campaign on TTIP, visit: http://ttip2014.eu/