Wednesday, 29 January 2014

tipping-point oder sternwarte

Partially over revelations of American industrial spying practises and with a modicum of acknowledgment for the outrage over the preference for business rights at the expense of safety, health, livelihoods and the environment, as the Corporate Europe Observatory reports, the European Commission in Brussels have halted talks for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty to submit the agreement to what's being called a “public consultation.”

I would not know how to interpret that. Under the current model, American companies (surely in proportion to their investments on European soil) could demand arbitration (although without an arbiter or champion) directly with governments to challenge policies the companies find under favourable to their profits. The proposal is reciprocal, but I imagine that US firms could do more damage than EU firms good in the States in the name of equity and conservation. This terra-forming provision is what's up for debate but sadly does not signal real reform, as the same mechanisms remain in place and corporate interests are far from de-fanged. A tribunal established for European capitals to stare down businesses or vice-versa and the rosy name of the treaty sounds like a good and positive thing. Considering, however, what is all at stake, which CEO covers expertly and at length, from fracking, recidivism among banks, opening the farmlands of Europe to genetically modified crops to the loosening of labour laws, this matter deserves more than a consulting.