Initiating a public dialogue on environment protection in the context of the TTIP negotiations

Negotiations between the EU and US on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were launched in 2013. At the end of 2016, after the change of Administration in Washington, the negotiations were stopped after the 15th round of talks. While it is hard to anticipate whether or when negotiations could resume, the Commission’s position is that the logic for further deepening the trade and investment relationship between the EU and the US still remains. Furthermore, the developments reached via the extensive effort in negotiations so far can also serve as a useful background to the EU’s position in other, future, trade negotiations.

The European Parliament requested the European Commission to carry out a study on the potential environmental impacts of TTIP, and to initiate a stakeholder dialogue in order to identify solutions. A study, led by IEEP with partners Ecorys and Prospex, was launched by the Commission’s Environment DG in January 2016, and was carried out largely while the Obama administration was in office.

The study team analyzed nine EU Member States: Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Case studies specifically focusing on eight of these countries, accompanied with an EU-wide case study looking at the environmental impact of mechanisms aimed at investor protection, were developed. These case studies looked in detail at a range of areas of potential environmental impact (transport; energy; biodiversity; chemicals). Stakeholder workshops were then held in each of the 9 Member States to develop a deeper understanding of stakeholder insights, and to test the emerging conclusions of the case studies.

As a final step, the ideas emerging from stakeholders were triangulated in order to develop recommendations on how to enhance positive dynamics between trade and environmental protection and environmental legislation in the context of TTIP.

For more information, please contact Martin Nesbit.

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