In July, a group of people set off to do a hard thing, but an important thing.
They wanted to collect 1 million signatures.
Once attained, those 1 million signatures would force the European Commission to discuss an immediate halt to the ongoing trade talks between the EU and U.S. These talks are known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. For short, they are called the TTIP.
Having already achieved nearly three-quarters of the signatures through the European Commission’s official process – the European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) – we should be celebrating.
We aren’t celebrating. Here’s why:
On 11 September, just days before the ECI was to launch publicly by 230 organisations in 21 countries, the Commission announced that it was rejecting the ECI altogether. It claimed that the call to stop the TTIP “falls outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union”. The Commission argued that we could use an ECI to request an agreement, but we can’t use an ECI to stop something we didn’t ask for and don’t want.
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