According to Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, the EU should focus on continuing trade negotiations with the United States and scaling up its efforts to push for its agenda. Mr Moscovici said that it was not wise to heed to Paris’ calls to suspend the negotiations between the EU and the US over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). “I think it would be much more sensible to pursue the talks, but to raise the level of our demands,” he added. The Commissioner admitted though that the talks were a difficult and demanding process.
Commmisioner Moscovici also reminded of the strict demands regarding Europe’s agricultural and environmental standards as well as health standards and cultural co-existence. “We should not behave as if this was just some agreement we could take or leave,” the Commissioner said, adding that the context in which the discussions are taking place “cannot set us on the path to demagogy”. To that end, Mr. Moscovici also stressed that “For my part, I would like to see Europe’s trade ministers supporting the Commission and asking it to be strong and ambitious with our American partners”.
Last week, Matthias Fekl, the French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, called on Brussels to stop the TTIP negotiations, which are in his opinion very unbalanced in favor of Americans. French President Francois Hollande has also added fuel to the issue saying that it was virtually impossible for the Commission to finalize the deal before the end of Barack Obama’s mandate in January 2017. In this light, Commissioner Moscovici called upon the French government “not to abandon the community method, which is one of dialogue, because opposition between the EU and France is pointless”.