- the peoples from both shores of the North Atlantic have been historically linked by their shared liberal and democratic values and common security interests;
- the EU and the USA are global economic engines as far as investments and trade are concerned and jointly account for almost half of the global gross national product and one third of world trade;
- American and European markets are already very closely related and integrated;
- bilateral trade sums up to almost two billion EURO daily in goods and services; furthermore transatlantic investments in 2011 already mounted up to 2.394 trillion EURO and economic forecasts of the European Commission estimated that the added value of an integrated transatlantic economic area would be more than 119,2 billion EURO per year for the EU and 94,9 billion EURO per year for the USA. European exports could rise by 30% and the European export economy could increase by 6%;
- further transatlantic economic integration will sizably contribute to boost growth and job creation;
- a reinforced transatlantic co-operation and integration would send a strong political and economic signal to the entire Western world in times of weak economic growth and alarming geopolitical conflicts;
- a closer co-operation with the USA could make the European Union stronger vis-à-vis conflicts in Russia/Ukraine and could help to overcome the growth crisis in Europe also due to economic sanctions against Russia.
The Union of European Federalists is convinced that
- the negotiations for a new partnership between the EU and the USA (TTIP) present an opportunity for a renewed transatlantic relationship as well as for the creation of a legal framework for transatlantic trade based on commonly shared standards;
- a transatlantic partnership for trade and investment would serve as the fundament for economic and political development in the whole transatlantic region.
- to achieve that, however, some changes in the embodiment of the TTIP treaty and a proactive communication strategy around it and above all in the EU capacity to take advantage of this agreement, avoiding the risk of boosting the divergences inside EU are absolutely necessary;
- as far as this last point is concerned, the lack of an European economic and industrial policy together with the lack of a federal budget, as shown by many studies, risks creating a diverging effect on the EU economy, which would be particularly dangerous in the Euro area;
- the opportunity offered by TTIP negotiations should thus be taken as an additional reason and incentive for facing the need for a Fiscal and Economic Union in the Eurozone.
Taking account of
- the joint statement of the EU-USA summit on 29 November 2011
- the final report of the high level group for growth and employment of 11 February 2013
- the joint statement of US-President Barack Obama, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy
- the conclusions of the European Council (7 and 8 February 2013) and
- the vote by the European Parliament in favour of a negotiation mandate
The UEF is in favour of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which ensures that
- both sides take advantage and improve their standards in production, safety, industrial law and ecology through the “transatlantic trade and investment partnership” and thus a race to the bottom is prevented and the right for regulation of sensitive areas on both sides of the Atlantic is guaranteed;
- the benefit of harmonization of European and American standards (e.g. financial markets) as well as the reduction of tariffs (e.g. agriculture) and none-tariff trade barriers result in an added value for both treaty partners, accompanied by monitoring, probably in a certain period of time (after TTIP takes effect) and that further re-negotiations of the treaty remain possible; in this regard, enhance parliamentary partnership and consultation in order to contribute to the monitoring and continuous assessment of its implementation and future improvements.
- the adoption and implementation of further European social standards, as well as in environment and consumer protection is guaranteed;
- the principle of caution, i.e. a product can only be sold on markets after it is proven, is preserved;
- the European social model and the EU-wide spread eco-social market economy are consolidated;
- the issues of personal data protection, public subsidies and public services are excluded from the current negotiations;
- international investor protection and its arbitration is not necessarily organised by a private arbitration panel, but in a way that respects European and American rule of law standards and is democratically accountable; , for example by the establishment of a TTIP International Court;
- that the European Parliament is closely involved at all stages of the negotiating processes.
The UEF is convinced that,
- there are no positive alternatives to a renewed transatlantic relationship as well as to the creation of a legal framework for transatlantic trade on an European scale;
- if the EU had to abandon these negotiations, the result would be the starting of bilateral agreements with USA by single States, thus increasing European division and weakness;
- there is therefore no alternative to strengthening EU governance, especially at EMU level, in order to be able to participate in <s>to</s> the new transatlantic relationship on an equal footing.