VCI on „TTIP Leaks“

Interpretation of documents is going in the wrong direction

Publication is intended to stir distrust in the public ++ US negotiating positions are maximum demands ++ EU will not give up European values.

VCI director-general Utz Tillmann: "In its negotiating mandate the European Council made quite clear from the very beginning that the EU would maintain its protection standards." The agitated debate neglects that Europe can never give up fundamental values like the precautionary principle. - © VCI / René Spalek
VCI director-general Utz Tillmann: "In its negotiating mandate the European Council made quite clear from the very beginning that the EU would maintain its protection standards." The agitated debate neglects that Europe can never give up fundamental values like the precautionary principle. - © VCI / René Spalek

The German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) thinks that the leakage of confidential TTIP documents precisely at this moment in time cannot be a coincidence – just one week after German chancellor Merkel and US President Obama set a clear sign for TTIP, stressing their goal of concluding the negotiations by end 2016. VCI director-general Utz Tillmann stated: “The fight is hard in the debate about TTIP. Evidently, some individuals do not stop short at abusing the trust placed in them by publishing confidential documents. This has nothing to do with fair play in politics.”

Tillmann also assessed the significance of the published documents: “Some demands in trade negotiations are simply unacceptable to the other party. Bringing forward maximum demands is the usual procedure in such negotiations.” According to Tillmann, the agitated discussion suggests that Europe wants to cave in and abandon European values. Tillmann: “It is conveniently forgotten that Europe can never give up certain fundamental values like, for example, the precautionary principle. Otherwise, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers could and would not approve TTIP.” In its negotiating mandate the Council made quite clear from the very beginning that the EU would maintain its protection standards. Tillmann sees unfairness in using the negotiating texts to stir fears among the public and to stop TTIP; the text at issue is only the US negotiating position, not the final text of the agreement.

At the current stage of the negotiations, maximum demands are a tactical means for achieving good results. Also, it is not surprising that the Americans want TTIP to bring better market access for their agricultural products – even more so as there are, from the US perspective, no reasons under environmental or consumer protection policies for EU import restrictions in the agricultural sector. Conversely, Europe is asking a lot from the USA: complete access to public procurement, full protection of European designations of origin like camembert, champagne or Black Forest ham, access to energy and to the car market.

Utz Tillmann: “TTIP is a unique historic chance for the EU. If Europe with its values wants to have a part in the shaping of globalisation, we need TTIP. This will benefit companies, staff and consumers.”


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 2015 the German chemical industry realised sales of around 189 billion euros and employed 446,000 staff.

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Jürgen Udwari

E-Mail: udwari@vci.de