Public Services Under Attack

TTIP, CETA, and the secretive collusion between business lobbyists and trade negotiators

Author: Thomas Fritz

Published by: AITEC, CEO, EPSU, IGO, TNI, Vienna Chamber of Labour, War on Want

October 2015

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Further information (Corporate Europe Observatory)

 

The executive summary is available in the following languages:

English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Greek, Czech, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Finish, Turkish, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Kroatian, Swedish and Hungarian.

 

Background

Public services in the EU are under threat from international trade negotiations that endanger governments’ ability to regulate and citizens’ rights to access basic services like water, health, and energy, for the sake of corporate profits. The EU’s CETA agreement (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) with Canada, the ratification of which could begin in 2016, and the TTIP treaty (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) under negotiation with the United States are the latest culmination in such efforts. In a worst case scenario, they could lock in public services into a commercialisation from which they will not recover – no matter how damaging to welfare the results may be.

The report released by an international group of NGOs and trade unions sheds some light on the secretive collusion between big business and trade negotiators in the making of the EU’s international trade deals. It shows the aggressive agenda of services corporations with regards to TTIP and CETA, pushing for far-reaching market opening in areas such as health, cultural, postal, and water services, which would allow them to enter and dominate the markets. And it shows how those in charge of EU trade negotiations are rolling out the red carpet for the services industry.