It took an international organization like Greenpeace to pierce the silence surrounding a faltering agreement between Europe, the United States and multinational corporations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.
Greenpeace has published 248 pages of documents online that reveal details of the negotiating stages, decisions that — if and when they are ever finalized — would impact the lives of almost 1 billion people and destroy many of the gains made in labor rights, welfare and environmental protection. Supporters of the TTIP talk of “liberalizing” the international markets and the need to keep up with the times. They paint those who disagree as fighting the inevitable currents of history.
But this supposed attempt to “harmonize” international markets for the good of the citizens is discussed in secret, with no possibility for civil society to make its opinions heard. Nevertheless, they will be expected to ratify, though their representatives in the legislature, these decisions made by others. Moreover, contrary to the propaganda, the U.S. and E.U. are not close to an agreement, especially on key issues. And who knows that the leaks will not provide the fatal snag that breaks down the talks.