Negotiations on TTIP
The European Commission is negotiating with the US on TTIP. It is doing so on behalf of the 28 EU member states. The next round of negotiations is in September 2015.
The governments of the EU member states gave the European Commission a mandate to negotiate on TTIP in June 2013. The mandate sets out the parameters within which the Commission may negotiate.
The TTIP negotiations started in July 2013. Since then there have been 10 rounds of talks, alternately in Brussels and the US. The next round of negotiations is in September 2015. The negotiations may take a long time, perhaps years.
How the TTIP negotiations are conducted
The European Commission’s TTIP team meets the US government’s negotiators. They exchange written proposals on TTIP and draft treaty texts in consultation with stakeholders. The European Commission organises regular open consultations. You can also give your opinion on TTIP.
Promoting Dutch interests
TTIP must be a fair agreement. It should generate more jobs, better products and more growth, without compromising our high standards. And it must achieve all this without harming developing countries.
It is important to hold a broad and open debate on TTIP. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is consulting individuals and groups with an interest in the agreement. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation discusses TTIP regularly with the Dutch parliament and other stakeholders. She also asks experts for advice on various issues. Examples include investment protection, the impact on employment and the consequences for developing countries.
The minister defends the Netherlands’ standpoint on TTIP at the trade meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. These meetings are held about four times a year.
Parliament has to approve the agreement
When the negotiations have been completed, the text of the agreement will be placed online so that everyone can read it. The governments of the 28 EU member states and the European Parliament will then decide whether TTIP will be adopted.
The Netherlands and the other EU countries see TTIP as a ‘mixed agreement’, which means that their national parliaments have to approve it. The Dutch government will therefore submit the final TTIP agreement to parliament.
The European Commission, too, expects TTIP to be a mixed agreement. Although it has not yet officially confirmed this, the EU’s trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström has said that all national parliaments must have a say.
In the meantime, the European Commission has submitted the trade agreement with Singapore to the European Court of Justice. It is asking the Court to determine whether it is a mixed agreement or not. The Court’s opinion on the trade agreement with Singapore could also clarify the situation with TTIP.