MEPs favour corporate profit over human rights and democracy in TiSA vote

18 January 2016 - 7:15pm
Press release

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) today voted to pass a resolution on the highly secretive trade agreement, TiSA.

TiSA, the Trade in Services Agreement, is an agreement being negotiated between 50 different countries, calling themselves “The Really Good Friends of Services”, which seeks to liberalise the global services market.

The vote, which passed by 33 - 6 with one abstention, means the European Commission will continue secret negotiations on TiSA in line with the resolution approved by the European Parliament’s trade committee.

War on Want Executive Director John Hilary said: “MEPs have once again turned their backs on the needs of their own constituents in favour of the business lobbyists of Brussels.

“This highly secretive deal has been shown through various leaked texts to be wholly by and for big business, much like TTIP and CETA. And just like with TTIP and CETA, MEPs have once again shown their disdain for public services, workers’ rights and democracy.”

War on Want has joined other civil society groups in signing a letter to the trade committee calling for an immediate halt to TiSA negotiations. The letter highlights how TiSA aims to bring about broad liberalisation of sensitive sectors such as finance and public procurement, how it lacks transparency and accountability, restricts democratic decision-making, fails to protect workers’ rights and threatens public services.

TiSA has been negotiated since 2012 at the initiation of the USA. More became known about the deal after a flurry of leaks in 2014 and 2015, prompting the European Commission to eventually publish its TiSA negotiating position while heralding its commitment to ‘transparency’.

The deal suffered an additional blow in September 2015 when Uruguay and Paraguay announced that they would quit negotiations due to concerns that the deal would prevent them from being able to regulate in the public interest.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

- For further information and interviews, contact John Hilary on +44 7983 550727 or Mark Dearn on +44 7804 289680.

- For more information on TiSA, visit: http://waronwant.org/what-tisa

- The joint civil society letter on TiSA: http://www.s2bnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Statement-on-TISA-17-November-2015-11-1-2016.pdf

- Public Services International report on TiSA, ‘The Really Good Friends of Corporations’: http://www.world-psi.org/en/psi-special-report-really-good-friends-transnational-corporations-agreement

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