[Ip-health] EU member states may not have a veto on TTIP / TAFTA

Ante Wessels ante at ffii.org
Wed May 1 14:12:03 PDT 2013

EU member states may not have a veto on TTIP / TAFTA
with links

May 1, 2013
By Ante

After the negotiations, the EU member states may not have a veto
on the proposed trade agreement with the US (TTIP / TAFTA).

I wrote earlier about some issues with the EU draft mandate for
the EU – US trade agreement.

In addition, I note that the draft TTIP mandate (pdf) does not
mention criminal measures. Criminal measures were the reason
that the EU member states had a veto on ACTA
(Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). With ACTA, the member
states negotiated the criminal measures. After the negotiations,
the Commission proposed ACTA as a mixed agreement to Council and
Parliament. A mixed agreement is an agreement by the EU and the
member states. This way, the member states have a veto.

The draft TTIP / TAFTA mandate notes about the negotiations that
the Commission will negotiate, in consultation with the member
states in the appropriate committee of the Council. No role for
the member states in the negotiations itself.

The consequence of this approach is that the Commission may,
after the negotiations, excercise its competence, and make an EU
only proposal for adoption by the Council (after consent by the
Parliament). The Council shall decide with a qualified majority.
The member states will not have a veto.

Basically, if the Commission negotiates some goodies for the
German industry, and some goodies for some other big EU member
states (having most votes in Council and Parliament), a majority
for the proposed agreement is as good as certain, however bad it
may be for the interests of smaller EU member states, for the
public interest, democracy, access to medicine and human rights.

The mandate is very broad. If the Council authorises the
Commission to negotiate, the smaller member states will have
lost their grip on the outcome. They may like to take a good
look at the mandate.

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