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European Union/transatlantic trade treaty

Published on October 27, 2014
Reply given by M. Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, to a question in the National Assembly
Paris, October 22, 2014

You ask a question on a subject of major interest. I had the opportunity a fortnight ago to reply here to a question concerning the treaty with Canada; I’m very happy to do the same today regarding the negotiations on the transatlantic treaty with the United States.

Since the day after being appointed I’ve been dealing with this issue, making representations to the European Union and going to Brussels, Berlin and Rome to meet all the foreign trade ministers and secure progress on transparency. We agree on this point: there can be no more totally opaque trade negotiations. Consequently France – along with Germany, the Italian presidency and other European states – has at last achieved transparency on the negotiating mandates, and I welcome this.

You also ask about investor-state arbitration mechanisms. In this regard, I note the statements made this morning by the new European Commission President [-elect]: he clearly stated his refusal to see access to national jurisdictions being limited and secret jurisdictions having the last word on the matter. That’s proof that when France, Germany and our European partners speak with one voice, things move forward. I’ve also worked on this with my colleague Harlem Désir, who regularly discusses the issue with his European counterparts.

And regarding Parliament having the last word, I also stress here once again that national parliaments will have to have the last word, as is normal in democracies./.

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