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Germany: Greenpeace unpacks TTIP leaks in Berlin02:58

Germany: Greenpeace unpacks TTIP leaks in Berlin

Germany, Berlin
May 2, 2016 at 14:58 GMT +00:00 · Published

Juergen Knirsch, Greenpeace Trade Expert (German): "No. The best that the Commission can do is to say, 'Sorry, we made a mistake. [APPLAUSE] We hadn't informed you from the start; we haven't engaged with the democratic structures.' Firstly, under pressure, a bit of transparency has been possible, democratic structures and parliaments are involved but not sufficiently enough. And the best thing to say is, 'Restart.' Leave this, I can't see one at the moment but leave this in the rubbish bin. And then we can, perhaps, we start from scratch - also not working under pressure, in which this was negotiated. Everyone is wanting and saying that they will manage this before the end of Obama's time in office. When I look through this, I think that is wishful thinking, because the majority of the text sits in parenthesis - so not a joint text yet. So let's start from scratch again and create more reasonable conditions and not as this one, here, was developed."

Trade Expert Juergen Knirsch, Head of Greenpeace's Political Representation Stefan Krug presented the papers at the Berlin conference, criticising the lack of transparency with which the document was drawn up. Knirsch went so far as to say the best thing the European Commission could do would be to draw up a new agreement from scratch. He said, "The best that the Commission can do is to say, 'Sorry, we made a mistake. We hadn't informed you from the start; we haven't engaged with the democratic structures.'"

The document that Greenpeace leaked, they claim, shows that TTIP will damage regulations set in place in the European Union. They argue that the agreement will, among other things, damage long-standing environmental protection and open the door for corporate lobbying.

Critics of TTIP have already protested in their thousands against the agreement. They argue that that the agreement will lower standards across the EU in a range of areas and will ultimately harm social, consumer and environmental standards. With regards to food standards, the EU has much stricter regulations regarding GM crops than the US and the deal could allow for US companies to bypass these tougher regulations and sell GM products in Europe. Critics also say that the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedure built into the deal is a threat to democracy. ISDS would allow companies to sue foreign governments on the grounds of unfair treatment and many anti-TTIP protesters argue that this would undermine a government's ability to protect its citizens against business interests.

Germany: Greenpeace unpacks TTIP leaks in Berlin02:58
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Juergen Knirsch, Greenpeace Trade Expert (German): "No. The best that the Commission can do is to say, 'Sorry, we made a mistake. [APPLAUSE] We hadn't informed you from the start; we haven't engaged with the democratic structures.' Firstly, under pressure, a bit of transparency has been possible, democratic structures and parliaments are involved but not sufficiently enough. And the best thing to say is, 'Restart.' Leave this, I can't see one at the moment but leave this in the rubbish bin. And then we can, perhaps, we start from scratch - also not working under pressure, in which this was negotiated. Everyone is wanting and saying that they will manage this before the end of Obama's time in office. When I look through this, I think that is wishful thinking, because the majority of the text sits in parenthesis - so not a joint text yet. So let's start from scratch again and create more reasonable conditions and not as this one, here, was developed."

Trade Expert Juergen Knirsch, Head of Greenpeace's Political Representation Stefan Krug presented the papers at the Berlin conference, criticising the lack of transparency with which the document was drawn up. Knirsch went so far as to say the best thing the European Commission could do would be to draw up a new agreement from scratch. He said, "The best that the Commission can do is to say, 'Sorry, we made a mistake. We hadn't informed you from the start; we haven't engaged with the democratic structures.'"

The document that Greenpeace leaked, they claim, shows that TTIP will damage regulations set in place in the European Union. They argue that the agreement will, among other things, damage long-standing environmental protection and open the door for corporate lobbying.

Critics of TTIP have already protested in their thousands against the agreement. They argue that that the agreement will lower standards across the EU in a range of areas and will ultimately harm social, consumer and environmental standards. With regards to food standards, the EU has much stricter regulations regarding GM crops than the US and the deal could allow for US companies to bypass these tougher regulations and sell GM products in Europe. Critics also say that the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedure built into the deal is a threat to democracy. ISDS would allow companies to sue foreign governments on the grounds of unfair treatment and many anti-TTIP protesters argue that this would undermine a government's ability to protect its citizens against business interests.

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