Mr. Ohoven at ITRE Committee hearing on TTIP

On tuesday Feb. 24th, European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME president, Mr. Mario Ohoven, contributed as a representative of European SMEs to a public audition of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). He presented BVMW's point of view on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP), which is currently negotiated between the EU and the USA.

Although BVMW agrees to 90% of the treaty and the basic need for a transatlantic free trade agreement, Mr. Ohoven critizised strongly the planed Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism included into the treaty's draft, underlining how this would create accentuated unfair competition conditions for European SMEs. These would never be able to appeal to such an arbitrating jury, given the exorbitant costs (between 3.5 and 6.5 Million Euro, following official sources). Also the fact that it is not possible to appeal against a decisions of an arbitrator, is not compatible with our evolved juridical systems in Europe. Mr. Ohoven invited the EP and the EC to re-negogiate this chapter. He also pointed out that the great difference between the US-American aftercare approach is too much different (and therefore for European SMEs a great handicap) from the European precautionary approach in authorisation processes for products. Also this aspect should be solved, bringing both systems nearer to each other. Finally also the planned USA-EU Regulation Council seems to have a too weak democratic legitimation, and would need strongly the participation of representatives of SMEs.

Many members of the Committee welcomed and supported his statements, asking Mr. Ohoven to
underline advantages as well as current disadvantages of TTIP for SMEs also in other occasions.

The chairman of the ITRE Committee, Mr. Bernd Lange, proposed to include into TTIP a special chapter for SMEs, to which BVMW and CEA-PME have offered their readiness to contribute actively.


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