European Commission continues to ignore Parliament on TTIP
Brussels, Belgium — Today, the Commission released two new texts relating to the controversial Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (« Regulatory Cooperation » and « Good Regulatory Practices »), which continue to ignore requests by the European Parliament.
In July 2015, the European Parliament demanded the European Commission neither affect the implementation of EU chemicals legislation through TTIP nor negotiate with the US on issues « such as REACH and its implementation » in order to protect its stronger regulations of toxic chemicals relative to the US. Contrary to this instruction, today’s proposals continue to threaten the implementation of REACH, the EU flagship chemical regulation, and other European laws for chemicals, including the implementation of long overdue criteria to regulate endocrine disrupting chemicals.
« The latest TTIP proposals would allow ‘regulatory cooperation’ to affect the implementation of EU chemical laws, » says Baskut Tuncak, Senior Attorney with CIEL. « This is a serious threat to EU chemical laws and policies as the US continues to lobby against more protective EU standards. »
« Regulatory cooperation in TTIP mimics the European Commission’s controversial agenda for lean EU regulations, which it calls Better Regulation, » adds Laurens Ankersmit, EU Trade & Environment Lawyer with ClientEarth. « TTIP would therefore cast its controversial elements in stone, putting yet another break on regulators’ ability to manage hazardous chemicals. »
Today, there is an unprecedented urgency to reduce the use of toxic chemicals. Chemical production across the Atlantic is growing, projected to increase by 20% by 2020. As the biggest bilateral trade agreement in history, TTIP’s second-largest beneficiary stands to be chemical manufacturers.
« Even the German Chemical Industry acknowledges that the European Parliament called for the exclusion of chemicals from TTIP negotiations. Basic democratic standards require that the Commission respects the conditions set forth by publicly elected officials to protect the public interest, » adds Tuncak.
The next rounds of TTIP negotiations are planned for April and July.
Note for editors:
Over the past year, it has become clear that the US Government and industry have used (and continue to use) TTIP negotiations to slow, weaken, or derail progressive EU policies on toxic chemicals.
As recently as 2015, the US government pressured the EU against moving further ahead of the US in regulating toxic chemicals, insisting that the EU « ensur[e] that global trade is not unnecessarily disrupted » by its new approach to chemicals with properties disrupting the hormone system, and cautioned that the EU taking a different approach than the US would be contrary to the « primary objective » of TTIP.
A few months later, the European Parliament instructed the European Commission not to negotiate for regulatory cooperation in areas « where the EU and the US have very different rules, » including the EU chemicals regulation and its implementation. The European Parliament also demanded that TTIP not affect standards that have yet to be set, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) – Founded in 1989, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) uses the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society. CIEL is dedicated to advocacy in the global public interest through legal counsel, policy research, analysis, education, training, and capacity building.
ClientEarth is a non-profit environmental law organisation based in London, Brussels and Warsaw. We are activist lawyers working at the interface of law, science and policy. Using the power of the law, we develop legal strategies and tools to address major environmental issues.
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Center for International Environmental Law