TTIP Controversy: EU’s to Step Up its PR Efforts

Written by | Monday, March 16th, 2015
@Eubulletin

With the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, also known as the TTIP, having been marred by controversy, the European Union has decided to increase its communication efforts in relation to the EU-US trade talks. Leaders from the 28 EU Member States who are due to meet on 19-20 March will evaluate the current state of the negotiations and are also expected to appeal to the European Commission to make a renewed effort to finalize them by the end of this year. According to our sources, the EU leaders are likely to push the Commission to prioritize the TTIP negotiations so that all existing differences between both partners could effectively be solved.

However, the negotiations have been marred by controversy with many campaigners across Europe opposing various elements of the agreements, including the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause. Therefore, according to the draft conclusions of the upcoming EU summit, “Member states and the Commission should step up efforts to communicate the benefits of the agreement and to embrace transparency and dialogue with civil society.” With the EU-US trade relationship being already the biggest in the world, the TTIP is seen by many in Brussels as one possible means to boost the stagnating EU economy.

The new communication efforts wanted by EU leaders will likely be welcomed. In response to the mounting criticism about the conditions of the TTIP deal, European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, has already stressed that transparency and engagement with stakeholders will be a priority of her mandate. Speaking at a recent event in Brussels, Ms Malmström told the audience that “Having information online helps. But myths live on in people’s heads long after they have been disproved.”

 

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