VCI on the informal meeting of the foreign trade ministers in Rome on TTIP

Continue negotiating the overall package

Regarding the meeting of EU foreign trade ministers on 15 October 2014 in Rome, the VCI thinks that the ministers should not go for a “slimmed down” agenda. Issues of controversy in the general public cannot be left out. European demands will be accepted only in an overall package where both partners have to make concessions.

VCI: TTIP needs more dialogue from the EU but also a firm political will. © EU COUNCIL
VCI: TTIP needs more dialogue from the EU but also a firm political will. © EU COUNCIL

The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) speaks against a reduced version of TTIP that leaves out controversial issues, for an easier conclusion of a free trade agreement between the EU and the USA. Professor Reinhard Quick, director in charge of the VCI’s foreign trade affairs and of the Brussels liaison office, states: “Pragmatism and a sense of proportion are important. But thinking about plan B already at the present stage is the wrong approach. Such suggestions weaken Europe’s negotiating position, because they do not give any consideration to the concerns and interests of our partner USA.”

At the proposal of the Italian Council Presidency, the informal meeting of the EU foreign trade ministers on 15 October in Rome will look into the question of a “slimmed down” TTIP agenda. This proposal wants to leave out two issues of controversy in the general public, i.e. investment protection and chlorine chicken. Instead, the agenda should focus on four aspects: market access, mutual opening of energy markets, public procurement and regulatory cooperation. But from the VCI’s viewpoint, acceptance of Europe’s demands in the energy sector and in public procurement can be achieved only within an overall package where both parties need to make concessions.

Reinhard Quick emphasizes: “Europe needs to do its homework for TTIP. This means providing information and discussing the controversial issues with the civil society.” According to Quick, the publication of the negotiating mandate is a major step towards more transparency. Quick sees TTIP as a great chance for negotiating reformed rules within a comprehensive agenda: “The EU should not repeat the mistake of the World Trade Organization. Over the past 13 years, WTO has more and more reduced its mandate – without preventing failure. A successful conclusion of TTIP needs more dialogue from the EU but also the firm political will to stand up to opposition with protest actions.”

The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media. The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2013 the German chemical industry realised sales of more than 190 billion euros and employed around 438,000 staff.

Contact: VCI Press Dept., Phone: +49 69 2556-1496, E-Mail: presse@vci.de
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Contacts

Jürgen Udwari

E-Mail: udwari@vci.de

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