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15 July 2014
Citizens' voice must be heard; Greens/EFA backs new European Citizens' Initiative
The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has confirmed its support for the launch of a European Citizens Initiative (1) on the EU-US trade deal TTIP and the Canadian free trade agreement CETA.
The initiative was launched today in Brussels by “STOP TTIP” to coincide with the 6th round of negotiations. It asks the EU Commission to recommend to the EU Council of Ministers to repeal the negotiating mandate for TTIP and not to conclude CETA. 148 organisations from 18 EU member states have pledged their support.
Co-presidents of the Green/EFA Group Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts confirmed the groups' support last Friday, committing to proactively work to ensure a successful outcome.
The ECI is likely to further raise the public profile of both agreements in the months ahead, when over a million signatures will need to be collected from September. Welcoming the announcement Greens/EFA trade spokespersons Yannick Jadot and Ska Keller said:
"There is a growing sense of unease and concern among European citizens and civil society about the ongoing TTIP negotiations. This concern reflects the broad scope of the negotiations and their possible implications on European standards, and is reinforced by the opaque negotiation process. The voices of these citizens must be heard and this European Citizens Initiative is a landmark development to this end. The Greens/EFA group fully supports the initiative and will work proactively over the coming months to ensure it will have a successful outcome."
(1) The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) enables citizens from different EU member states to ask the European Commission jointly to adress a topic or to request a legislative act. At least one million signatures must be collected for the iniative to proceed, with country-specific quotas reached in at least 7 member states. More information: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/welcome
Read the press release (French) here.