• Home
  • News
  • Business Europe Press Debate On TTIP: Videos and Summary

Business Europe Press Debate On TTIP: Videos and Summary


Business Europe Press Debate On TTIP: Videos and Summary

business -europe-video-grab

Residence Palace, Brussels
Why does TTIP matter for European business? How can it lead to the establishment of world-class rules and standards? This was the main topic of the press debate organised by BUSINESSEUROPE on 23 September 2014, offering European journalists to engage with representatives from industry, trade unions and the consumers. The debate was an opportunity also to discuss controversial aspects of TTIP in a number of areas, including food and product safety, workers rights, environmental and investor protection. NGOs, MEPs, the European Commission, US decision-makers were in the audience. The debate featured from left to right:

Bernadette Ségol, Secretary General, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
Markus J. Beyrer, Director General, BUSINESSEUROPE
Stephen Fidler of Wall Street Journal (moderator)
Carl Martin Welcker, Vice President, German Engineering Association (VDMA); company owner and Manager, Schütte GmbH & Co KG
Monique Goyens, Director General, European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)

Best of Video


Full Video


Here is a summary of the discussion by a writer who wishes to remain anonymous.
Wall Street JournalTTIP was gonna be a great boost to growth and employment but it seems to running into the send.
Business Europe:
  1. Growth weak in Europe, so a lot of work to do to generate investments and open new markets. There TTIP can help. All studies prove it. Positive effects on growth and jobs will occur.
  2. Many of the arguments against TTIP are a general criticism towards globalisation. Globalisation is happening and continue to happen. TTIP is an excellent opportunity to steer globalisation and to widen Western values. There’s nothing bad about Western values. So TTIP is uniting transatlantic efforts.
  3. TTIP will be positive to companies and businesses and for employees and consumers. There will also be loosers, but the rate between winners and loosers should be better than on previous treaties. Yes Those who have most to gain are SMEs. TTIP will reduce costs to enter the market for SMEs. Very logic next step it would be the transatlantic market places.
We still have time for negotiation, we’ve negotiated it for a year, normally it takes two and a half years on average to reach an agreement. When I was talking about winners and losers I was talking about my constituency, i.e. businesses.
  • Discussions on TTIP not behind closed doors, they have to leave the corridors of the Commission.
  • Mounting concern among workers in Europe, democratic governance undermined, European standards undermined.
  • Risk of populists jumping on the band wagon.
  • We can say yes but yes if to the TTIP.
  • We are working toether with the US trade unions on what we want for the ttip: international convention to be implemented, quality jobs, workers’ rights etc.
  • We can’t privatise the gains and socialise the losses.
  • The question of transparency is very important.
  • How can you prove that the jobs that would be created will be good jobs, quality jobs?
  • Respect for public services, they don’t have to be affected by this agreement.
  • No against the low rim of tariffs.
  • Not against diminishing the bareers that exist so long as these bareers are technical. Where is the limit between technical bareer and what is going to impact on our social model.
  • Very important for us implementation fo labour standards, right of association, right to negotiate etc. These rights should be included and implemented in the agreement.
  • Against ISDS, very clearly against it.
  • We are convinced that foreign investors shouldn’t have a different tratment from home investors.
  • EU aand US are tow big democratic blocks.
  • Success with the consultation on ISDS, 150000 answers, most of which against ISDS, but the message we are getting is that we have to continue with ISDS. Momentum enormous in the UK, very big in Germany and France, against the ISDS. Why do we need an ISDS?
  • Our priorities: labour standards to be implemented, public services to be respected, ISDS to be excluded.


  • Trade agreement could be good for consumers, more choice, lower prices and push innovation. But we don’t know what’s in TTIP, we have to see whether we will be in favour or not.
  • We will be happy if the TTIP maximises profits for consumers and minimises costs.
  • Risk of jeopardising standards, quality standards of consumers’ products and services, safety standards etc.
  • Big problem is we don’t really know what’s in the TTIP, and I’m in the advisory group.
  • DG trade manages TTIP as a normal trade agreement. But it’s much more than business as usual, it’s much more. Regulatory cooperation can be good for consumers but if we don’t know where we are going we can’t judge. This is a first step towards a transatlantic market place, which is not necessarily bad. So these negotiations should not be trade negotiations but normal negotiations within institutions. If we talk about regulatory cooperation we need to avoid any democratic deficit.
  • We don’t know what’s in and what’s out, and what’s secret is suspect.
  • As long as this stays secret we must work according to the worst-case scenario, we have to be negative, we have to be scaremongering.
  • That would lead to people mobilising against TTIP without knowing what’s in TTIP. Tis would lead to a failure.
  • Need for more sharing.
  • One example of standard risking being jeopardise is the precautionary principle, which is not encompassed all in all in the US legislation.


  • US very important market, second biggest. 7.6 billion invested in the US. Main issues are technical bareers, certification systems and to a lesser extent tarif bareers.
  • If we could overcome these hurdles we would hire more people and we would give high salaries.
  • TTIP is the opportunity to create a role model for future agreements.
  • With the US we have a real chance to better open a huge market and to create a role model.
  • On ISDS am not an expert.
Business Europe: We can’t say let’s forget about ISDS,w e can say let’s make a better ISDS. Foreign investors need to be protected. Can we think to drop it? No. Let’s work on a better ISDS. Max Plank institute made an analysis on the impact on Ceta and say it’s not a problem. It’s a last resource, it’s after you can’t work on national tribunals and if you are discriminated against. The US doesn’t apply a principle of non discrimination so this would assure protect foreign investors in such cases when judged by US courts for instance.
BEUC: ISDS is flawed. It is a red line.
ETUCProblem of democratic deficit.
BusinessEuropeThis is the most transparent agreement we’ve ever had. Public consultation and advisory gourd.
BEUCAdvisory group: you have to read a forty-page documents and make notes with a pen and paper and you can’t bring in your pc. It’s window shopping and she’s member of the advisory group. As far as the new commission Mr Juncker is advocating for more transparency in the negotiations and that’s the way forward.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. Log in »

© 2012 Occupy London
Powered By DynamiX