As an MEP in the United Left group in the European Parliament, I focus a lot on trade agreements, such as CETA, which has been negotiated between the EU and Canada and TTIP which is now being negotiated with the US. Trade is a really important issue for my party, because these deep and comprehensive trade agreements are what Europe is about. The European Commission is using competences given in the Lisbon Treaty to take very good care it is beneficial to transnational corporations; but it is not good for human rights, environmental rights and animal rights.
TNI is a great partner because they write a lot very good reports. They manage to pick out the right topics that are very useful for debates in parliament and at home. For example their work with Corporate European Observatory examining the European Commission’s reforms to the investor-state chapter, now called Investment Court System, have shown that the reforms in practice yield the same result. This research helps us push the European Commission into making real improvements, not window dressing. Without this kind of research we would be in a difficult situation.
In trade agreements such as TTIP and CETA, we are up against a lot of PR, powerful interests such as Business Europe who advocate these deals because they want less regulation, and a lack of transparency from the Commission. But by examining the policies in details and showing what is being said and what is happening behind the scenes, there is now a lot more public awareness and a greater chance of change.