TTIP Talks

E.U. Must Harness Public Protest Power

Anti-TTIP demonstrations like this one in Berlin are having an effect, Hoffmann argues. Source: AP
Anti-TTIP demonstrations like this one in Berlin are having an effect.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Skepticism about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, particularly whether the U.S. will agree to follow stricter European guidelines, has sparked massive protests. The demonstrations actually give the E.U. more negotiating clout.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Mass demonstrations underscore that the treaty is as much about quality of life as it is economic issues.
    • Unions, in particular, are suspicious of the treaty because organized labor has been greatly weakened in the U.S.
    • The E.U. should insist that America adhere to all requirements, or European governments will not approve it.
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  • Audio

    Audio

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An October 10 demonstration in Berlin that drew 250,000 participants underscores just how much passion the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, stirs in people.

It’s clear that trade agreements don’t simply have economic significance, but also an immense social and political dimension. The spectrum of critics is wide-ranging, but the majority seeks a common goal: fair global trade. After the impressive rally, the task now is to present alternatives and pursue the measures they require. The chances of doing this are good.

Participants in the next round of negotiations on Monday in Miami should recognize that the demonstrations, passionate public debates and protests of civil society, are just the beginning and are not limited to Germany. They are occurring throughout Europe as well as in the national parliaments of European Union countries and in the European Parliament. And they have already achieved some undeniable successes.

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