ECJ backs Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP

10 May 2017

ECJ backs Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP

The European Commission should not have refused to accept the Citizens’ Initiative against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which on its final presentation had been signed by 3,284,289 people. This is the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The SP welcomes the ruling, which points the way to an important role for Citizens’ Initiatives in strengthening democracy in the European Union.

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur stresses that the ECJ has been extremely explicit in its verdict. “The judge says in so many words that the European Commission must offer citizens as much space as possible to make their opinions known and to participate in democratic debate,” she explains. “In this instance the Commission has failed to do that, though they have sufficient means at their disposal to react to the input of citizens of the member states. So there were no grounds for their refusal of a citizens’ initiative with such broad support.”

Mineur is very critical of the European Commission, which ploughed on without waiting for the result of the appeal procedure and the ECJ judgment. “It’s extremely irritating that the Commission simply went ahead with the decision-making while the case was still before the Court,” she says. Referring to the comparable trade and investment agreement with Canada, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), she adds that “CETA has in the meantime been completed, and the debate over TTIP is as good as dead as a result of the opinions the new American President. So the people who signed the initiative have been left empty-handed, even though they were completely in the right. The Commission should have waited, and the judgment should have been issued rather more quickly.”

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