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TAFTA: Down with Anti-Democratic US-EU Negotiations!
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TAFTA: Down with Anti-Democratic US-EU Negotiations!
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TAFTA: Down with Anti-Democratic US-EU Negotiations!

La Quadrature du Net, Submitted on 11 Nov 2013 - 16:09

Paris, 11 November 2013 — While the second negotiation round of the US-EU Trade Agreement, TAFTA (also known as TTIP), has just started, La Quadrature du Net issues a solemn warning to all negotiators against the risk of elaborating policies that would impact hundreds of millions of citizens without any form of democratic legitimacy. La Quadrature du Net calls on citizens to participate to its effort to expose the TAFTA negotiators and their eventual conflicts of interests, while urging individuals with access to negotiation documents to leak them to the public without delay.

TAFTA will not only affect economy and trade. The EU Commission negotiation mandate already allows the negotiation of a “comprehensive”1 agreement, covering a wide range of fields as varied and significant as agriculture, access to medicines, data protection2, copyright, food safety, or investor-state dispute settlement3. And if the EU Commission considers it necessary, this negotiation mandate could be modified “on any issue”4 to include new fields. In the Internet field, leaked document have already shown that some provisions of TAFTA could have a deep impact on our freedoms online. Recent revelations about massive spying by the US of EU officials also casts a doubt on how such negotiations could in any case be fair and balanced.

If, after being negotiated outside of any democratic process, TAFTA were to come into force, the agreement provisions would apply for decades and affect hundreds of millions of citizens. Although the issues of the TAFTA negotiations obviously exceed the framework of a trade agreement, elected representatives, once the negotiations are over and the agreement concluded, will have no choice but to approve or reject it as a whole, without any possibility to weigh on its content.

Worse, the European Commission is constantly trying to reintroduce previously rejected provisions to under-negotiation international trade agreements (for example, entire paragraphs of ACTA, rejected by the European Parliament in July 2012, have been cut and pasted into the Europe-Singapore Trade Agreement). Such democratic bypass only serves some narrow private interests carried in the course of opaque negotiations by a small group of unelected individual who try to avoid at all costs what they see as a detrimental debate. As the civil society organizations have constantly urged, it is time to stop these undemocratic practices and to open a transparent and legitimate debate on these issues.

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11-13-2013 08:04 PM
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