About

All across Europe civil society organisations, grassroots movements, trade unions, political parties... opposed to TTIP and CETA.

Since the beginning of the negotiations, they have organised campaigns to stop this treaties and to promote other kinds of transatlantic relationships. These campaigns largely mobilised activists and local authorities in many countries across Europe.

Until today, about 2,000 TTIP-free zones have been declared all around Europe.

The need to develop common tools, agendas and strategies shared between the campaigns emerged from the movement’s growth and the wish to broaden the local authorities strategy to new countries. This website is born as a sharing space and could be used to give visibility to national and European initiatives.

If you want to find out more about the organisations involved in Stop TTIP / CETA campaigns in your country, please visit the "Take Action" page.

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TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and CETA (Canada-EU Trade Agreement) are two free trade agreements currently being negotiated between the European Union and the USA or Canada. Whereas the negotiations on TTIP are still at work, the CETA text is already completed and ready for the ratification process. They both are supposed to create the world's biggest free trade areas by removing international tariffs and non-tariffs barriers between the major economic powers.

But for many people,

“TTIP is not a traditional trade agreement designed primarily to reduce tariffs on imports between trading partners [...]. Officials from both sides acknowledge that the main aim of TTIP is instead to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations in US and EU markets. This includes the removal or downgrading of key social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs), regulations on the use of toxic chemicals, data protection laws and new banking safeguards introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis."

(John Hillary, The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: A Charter for Deregulation, an Attack on Jobs, an End to DemocracyT, p. 10)

TTIP and CETA pose a threat to many of the rights that societies on both sides of the Atlantic have fought to implement. These treaties will jeopardise democratic principles by substantially reducing political space and restricting the scope for public choices by implementing the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) or investment court system (ICS) and regulatory cooperation. They will also attack the basis of the welfare system in European and north American societies, such as social rights, environmental standards, public services, democratic space and much more.

TTIP and CETA will impact directly our daily lives at the very local level. Indeed, even if these treaties emerge on the international level, they will restrict our access to public services as important as water, energy and health can be. Furthermore they will impose new constraints to local authorities pursuing alternative policies by threatening to sue the state using ISDS using ISDS mechanisms. They will weaken farmers and SMEs by deregulating the access to public procurement and give new opportunities to transnational corporations.
For these reasons, millions of European citizens, farmers, trade unionists, local representatives… engaged themselves in the movement to stop TTIP and CETA. Some of them signed the European Citizens Initiative that already collected more than 3,400,000 signatures. Other pushed their local representatives to turn their cities into TTIP and CETA-free zones.

Due to non-transparent procedure, we know few things regarding the negotiation between the US and the EU commission on TTIP. Most of the information we have at the moment rest upon some leaks of the free-trade-negotiations, of lobby-documents and of the EU negotiation mandate.

The final text of CETA just came out, and we now can access to its 1,600 pages for the first time since the beginning of the treaty’s negotiations. This publication come very late, especially when there only few months left before the treaty’s signature.

These informations together with the experience we took from other free trade agreements make us worry about the consequences of these agreements. Indeed, official communication of the parties (US, Canada and EU) are boasting TTIP and CETA about employment and economic growth. But economic analysis such as the one made by the Tufts University (Massachusetts) are much more pessimistic. Hundreds of thousand jobs may be destroyed in Europe, such as the 700,000 jobs which disappeared in the US after the application of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement, signed between Canada, Mexico and the USA).

Moreover, TTIP and CETA contain some mechanisms already known as notably dangerous for democracy, social rights and environmental protection. The Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and its twin, the Investment Court System (ICS, introduced in the CETA text) pose a threat to democracy. They allow investors to sue states for adopting policies they consider as “harmful” for their present or future investments. Hence, public health or environmental protection policies can be considered as bad for some polluting industries. Also policies ensuring social rights have been in many cases the basis on which governments are sued. In fact, these mechanisms introduce the idea that the transnational corporation’s interests have more value than common goods and safety.

Worse, with these mechanisms, states are not allowed to sue investors, so it’s a one way procedure whereby states can only loose.
TTIP and CETA are also attacking public services. We know that public services constitue the basis of social peace as they reduce the gap between upper and working classes. But these services are some of the first targets to shoot for multinational corporation and neoliberal politicians. European states had to make a negative list of the public services they didn’t agree to liberalise in CETA. That means the services they forgot to list, or those that don’t exist yet, will be mandatorily liberalised. Moreover, the agreements introduce ratchet clauses that forbid to roll back liberalisation. So it’s more than necessary to stop TTIP and CETA before they get signed, after the treaties’ ratification, it will be too late.

TTIP and CETA will also have an impact at the local level. Public procurement is one of the most important tools for local authorities to implement local development policies, to support economic alternative and to promote sustainable productions. But public procurement are also important market for transnational corporations, which is why TTIP and CETA contain chapters related to public procurement. The treaties aim to influence the suppliers’ selection process of local authorities in order to reduce the scope of action.

Indeed, until now the EU legislation promoted the choice of technically efficient projects (regarding the quality of the used materials, the environmental impact, the creation of new jobs…) as important as the price. TTIP and CETA reverse this policy in making the price rate much more important than any other criteria. This is very dangerous for many aspects of our daily lives: school canteens food, public works, water and energy supply, education, hospitals and so on.

For all these reasons we, as European civil society, are opposing TTIP and CETA. We will stop them by striving locally for another economic policy and a transatlantic relationship which is not dominated by big businesses interests.