Coming out in the European Parliament

With 436 'Yes' votes coming up against 241 'No' votes and 32 abstentions, the majority of the European Parliament voted in favour of the report on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Formally speaking, the document lays out recommendations for the Commission for the upcoming negotiations. However, the vote was a real coming out: many MEPs revealed that they support the corporate interests of global companies over the representation of European citizens.

The debate, which had been postponed from June, was restricted in this session, too. European Parliament President Martin Schulz failed to allow for a real debate and for asking questions, so pro-TTIP representatives could freely promote their false illusions. By interpreting the rules of procedure in an arbitrary manner, the President prevented the vote on the motions against the controversial investor-state dispute settlement process. The free trade agreement currently negotiated by the EU and the United States is unfavourable for Europe because the partners are not nearly equal in terms of the economy. In fact, the proposal is all about extending the rights of multinational corporations. These companies may press charges against states on account of unrealized profit in the courts specifically established for such purpose.

The biggest threat is the softening of the strict EU food safety regulations and the European distribution of food made from genetically modified plants and hormone treated animals. The statement that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are supposed to be the biggest gainers of the TTIP is misleading. 87 per cent of EU SME's sell to the internal market and they would never make it to the market of the United States. Instead, capital-intensive US companies would conduct aggressive marketing and acquire the markets of European SMEs.

Jobbik's MEPs clearly rejected the planned agreement both in votes and speeches, proposing that the resolution should be taken off the agenda. Apart from Jobbik's representatives, no other Hungarian MEPs spoke in the debate, they even failed to show up for it. Benedek Jávor (Together–Dialogue for Hungary) and Tamás Meszerics (Politics Can Be Different) voted against the document. The representatives of Fidesz, the Christian Democrats, the Socialists and the Democratic Coalition all voted 'yes' for concluding the free trade agreement.

MEP Zoltán Balczó, Jobbik