Daniël Termont, mayor of Ghent and EUROCITIES vice president, met the European commissioner for trade today to clarify aspects of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The meeting was an opportunity for us to clarify some concerns our member cities have regarding the trade agreement between the EU and the US, and make the case for cities to be involved directly in the negotiation process. TTIP is set to affect cities in a number of areas, such as public services, procurement, state aid, social, labour and environmental standards, and consumer, data and investment protection.
In our June statement on TTIP we called for public services to be explicitly excluded from the scope of the agreement, and Commissioner Malmström reassured us that this would be the case. She also confirmed that there would be no watering down of EU standards as a result of the agreement. Finally, she stated that the TTIP would not affect the right of governments at any level to regulate. We still need further clarification on a number of points, such as on Investment Court Systems (ICS) and on the impact of TTIP on third countries, as well as on local governments.
The commissioner also accepted the mayor’s invitation to attend an event on TTIP next June in Ghent.
The meeting follows on from our position on TTIP in which we highlight a number of areas of the agreement where clarification is needed for cities.
Silvia Ganzerla, EUROCITIES policy director; Marie Ranty, policy advisor; and Dirk Temmerman, head of international affairs in Ghent, also attended the meeting.
For more information, please refer to the links provided for our policy statement and press release on today’s meeting.