TTIP Regulatory Cooperation analysis

March 21, 2016

In March 2016, the European Commission published a new position on regulatory cooperation within the 12th TTIP negotiation round. We welcome changes which aim at improving cooperation between regulators.

Joint analysis by T&E, EEB, EPHA, EHN, BEUC and TACD

It is positive to see that the right to regulate in order to achieve public policy objectives is now included in the core text of the proposal. Moreover, it mentions the “intention” to use regulatory cooperation to deliver concrete benefits to consumers and to protect them.

However, some elements have not changed and that is particularly alarming. First, the scope of regulatory cooperation is still too broad. Second, our recommendation to secure an exchange of information between regulators on a voluntary basis has only been partially taken into account. Third, we strongly object to a couple of sections that use the platform of a trade agreement – instead of democratic decision-making – to decide on principles of law-making. Fourth, the proposal partially aims at regulating impact assessments through TTIP. It provides insufficient guarantees that the EU’s approach – taking decisions in the face of scientific uncertainty, based on the precautionary principle and considering hazards – is preserved.

These four fundamental points enshrined in a living agreement can fundamentally undermine the EU’s ability to regulate as it deems appropriate, despite the lofty assurances that the ‘right to regulate’ shall not be affected. Therefore the good intentions of not lowering levels of consumer protection or undermining the right to regulate cannot become a reality.

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