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07 October 2015
Self-organised ECI reaches 3 million signatures!
Over 3.2 million signatures against TTIP and CETA were presented to the European Commission by activists this morning, following a year of campaigning across Europe. The self-organised European Citizens Initiative- which was officially rejected by the European Commission last September on legal grounds- continued to collect signatures regardless, becoming the largest petition of its kind in Europe.
“Within one year, three times as many people as those needed for an ECI to be successful, according to EU rules, signed the ‘Stop TTIP’ petition.. We went beyond the necessary seven countries quorum to surpass the signature threshold in 23 Member States. More than 500 organisations from across the EU are part of the Stop TTIP ECI,” said Susan George from the Stop TTIP citizens’ committee. “This incredible result shows how strong opposition to TTIP and CETA has grown throughout Europe. If the EU institutions still care at all about democracy, they must organise a hearing in Parliament and the Commission must take action to stop both treaties.”
The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament celebrated the news as an important milestone in the fight against the two agreements. It comes at a crucial time when skepticism, even among government officials, is growing in many European countries. Last week France threatened to pull out of the negotiations, with junior trade minister Matthias Fekl saying that the "total lack of transparency" in TTIP talks poses a "democratic problem” and cited concerns that the deal was benefiting the US more than Europe: "Europe has offered many compromises, in all areas, and has received no serious offers from the Americans in return.”
Today, Greens/EFA MEP and member of the International Trade Committee, Yannick Jadot, praised the campaigners for their efforts to date:
“While the fight against TTIP & CETA is by no means over, we need to acknowledge the huge impact the ECI campaign has had in raising the public’s attention to what is at stake. TTIP’s corporate agenda undermines our ability as law-makers to tackle the problems of the 21st century- from building sustainable food systems, to fighting climate change, to enhancing our democracy, transparency and rule of law. TTIP hinders, not helps. 3 million voices have loudly recognised this. The question now is, have the Commission and the US heard them?”
Related news: mass demonstration against TTIP due in Berlin this weekend, kick-starting a week of action against the deals across Europe. More info here.