TTIP could accelerate European integration

A Transatlantic agreement negotiated with professionalism and to the benefit of every European, though it may seem as a paradox, could accelerate the integration process for Central and Eastern European Member States, including Romania, claims MEP Iuliu Winkler (UDMR, EPP), Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s (EP) International Trade Committee (INTA).

“The concrete terms of TTIP, which is a trade and investment treaty, are very important and have to be negotiated with considerable attention. The holistic picture and the technical details are equally important. Though it is not a champion in the bilateral trade with the US, Romania will have direct benefits as a consequence of TTIP’s ratification. Furthermore, through our most important trade and economic partners, namely the EU’s Founding Members, we will indirectly become beneficiaries of TTIP”, stated Winkler, in the vote explanation, which he delivered, Wednesday, amid the adoption of the EP’s recommendations concerning TTIP by its Plenary Session in Strasbourg.

The UDMR MEP showed that Romania has a relatively modest trade balance with the US, of approximately 2 billion USD, but that the indirect advantages become clearly visible if one keeps in mind the fact that Germany is our first trade partner, with a bilateral commercial balance of more than 21 billion EUR. “This is one of the reasons determining me to support the negotiations for finalizing TTIP and which drove me to vote, today, in favour of the report concerning the EP’s recommendations vis-à-vis the TTIP negotiations”, declares Winkler in his vote explanation.

In his opinion, another argument for the conclusion of TTIP, which he emphasized in his written declaration concerning the debate on the adoption of the EP’s recommendations, refers to the fact that the US, in its relations to the EU, has a double role on the global markets, both as a competitor and an ally. “Beyond finding solutions to the various crises it faces, the EU is further interested, on the medium-term, in the consolidation of its sustainable economic growth and job creation, especially for the youth. Continuously, the EU is interested in the promotion of its core values. In order to reach all these objectives, we need allies. Beyond the multiple divergences, and beyond the fact that the US is one of the EU’s competitors, reality shows us that it is also one of Europe’s natural allies in the global competition”, emphasized the INTA Vice-Chair.

Iuliu Winkler further tackled the extremely tense and complicated international context, in which the emerging economies of Asia are over-rated. “Analysts appreciate their spectacular economic growth, but is this sustainable? The partnership with these economies is important for Europe. However, do we share the same values?”, argued the UDMR MEP.

Winkler believes that TTIP is a necessary instrument for a Europe that plans for its future, and that the EU-US ties are more important than their differences. “I believe that analysts from the opposite shores of the Atlantic, who are advising us on a daily basis, for instance now, painting Grexit as unavoidable, represent American interests that are not necessarily in harmony with our own objectives; but I also believe that the differences between us are much less important than everything that ties us together”, portrayed the INTA Vice-Chair in his address.

He further shed light on the fact that the European Commission negotiators will have to keep in mind the EP’s opinion, given that only in such a way could they have a guarantee that finally TTIP will pass the MEP’s vote.
Wednesday, the Strasbourg Plenary Session, adopted the Report containing the European Parliament’s recommendations to the European Commission concerning negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP.