EU Parliament Members To Senate: ‘No Fast Track’

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Above photo: Demonstrators outside of the Senate Office Buildings on June 23, 2015 before the procedural vote on Fast Track. By Margaret Flowers.

Open letter expressing members of the European Parliament´s concerns on Fast Track Package.

Note: Forty three members of the European Parliament sent a letter to the members of the US House of Representatives last week urging them to oppose Fast Track. They highlighted the broad reach of the treaties currently under negotiation and the importance of exploring their full impacts on their constituents before moving ahead on them. Like the US Congress, members of the EU Parliament have been excluded from the secret negotiations with limited access to the text. Unlike the US Congress, they do not have a choice whether they Fast Track the treaties or not. They advise the US Congress not to cede their power to provide checks and balances to the executive office.

This week, the parliamentarians decided to publish their similar letter to the US Senate as an open letter for all to read. Here it is:

 

Dear Senator,

Regarding the Fast Track Package vote which will take place soon, the undersigned members of the European Parliament would like to make clear their experience and position regarding bilateral trade treaties. The negotiations of bilateral trade agreements (including TTIP) by the European Commission take place under a procedure which is equivalent to the proposed Fast Track, therefore we hope that our awareness will be useful to the US people and their Representatives.

It is clear that TPP and TTIP are far reaching treaties which would have deep consequences for all countries involved and their citizens, and it is crucial that different interests are taken into account, which can only be done by democratically elected representatives. However, the proposed Fast Track Package would allow the Administration to legislate bypassing the will and opinion of Congress, undermining the principle of separation of powers. So is the current situation in the European Union, whereby the European Parliament has no voice in the negotiations led by the European Commission.

Members of the European Parliament only have very limited access to selected pieces of information regarding TTIP. Since we only have the information that European Commission’s negotiators decide to share with us, we can’t really fulfill our duty of holding the European Commission to account.

Once the treaty is concluded, the European Parliament will only be able to vote for or against it, but not to amend it. As a consequence, the treaty will not properly take into account the various interests of all affected parties, while parts of the deal which could be harmful for certain stake-holders are likely to be accepted under the threat of not rejecting the whole agreement.

We, members of the European Parliament, have never been asked if we wanted to allow the executive branch to negotiate without regard to our position. Our voice and the voices of those we represent are ignored. On the other hand, the members of Congress of the United States do have the opportunity to preserve that constitutional right, and we urge you to make sure that they keep it.

Yours sincerely,

Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Member of the European Parliament, Spain;

Pablo Iglesias Turrión, Member of the European Parliament, Spain;

Estefania Torres Martínez, Member of the European Parliament, Spain;

Miguel Urban Crespo, Member of the European Parliament, Spain;

Tania González Peñas, Member of the European Parliament, Spain;

Anne-Marie Mineur, Member of the European Parliament, The Netherlands;

Curzio Maltese, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Daniela Aiuto, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Dario Tamburrano, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

David Borrelli, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Eleonora Evi, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Eleonora Forenza, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Ernest Urtasun, Member of the European Parliament, Catalonia;

Fabio de Masi, Member of the European Parliament, Germany;

Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Giulia Moi, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Ignazio Corrao, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Isabella Adinolfi, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Jordi Sebastia, Member of the European Parliament, Spain;

Josep-Maria Terricabras, Member of the European Parliament, Catalonia;

Josu Juatisti, Member of the European Parliament, Vasc Country;

Karima Delli, Member of the European Parliament, France;

Laura Agea, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Laura Ferrara, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Liadh Ni Riada, Member of the European Parliament, Ireland;

Luke Flanagan, Member of the European Parliament, Ireland;

Lynn Boylan, Member of the European Parliament, Ireland;

Marco Affronte, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Marco Valli, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Marco Zanni, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Marco Zullo, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Marina Albiol Guzman, Member of the European Parliament, Spain;

Marisa Matias, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal;

Martina Anderson, Member of the European Parliament, United Kingdom;

Mat Carthy, Member of the European Parliament, Ireland;

Merja Kyllönen, Member of the European Parliament, Finland;

Paloma Lopez Bermejo, Member of the European Parliament, Spain;

Patrick Le Hyaric, Member of the European Parliament, France;

Piernicola Pedicini, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Rosa D’Amato, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Sabine Losing, Member of the European Parliament, Germany;

Tiziana Beghin, Member of the European Parliament, Italy;

Yannick Jadot, Member of the European Parliament, France