Activists say that the EU will lose its ability to regulate big American companies like Facebook and Google, the Register reports (opens in new tab).
This week, Brussels is the host for round eight of negotiations on TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement), with more than 150 activist organisations - including the likes of ActionAid, Earth Open Source (UK), European Federation of Journalists, European Information-Human Rights Center and LobbyControl - claiming that “regulatory cooperation [with the U.S.] is a threat to democracy and an attempt to put the interests of big business before the protection of citizens.”
Currently, the talks are being held on the topic of "regulatory cooperation chapter“, where the European Commission wants more "compatibility“ between US and European laws and a "pro-competitive regulatory environment“.
Activists believe this equals to business lobbyists writing laws.
Earlier proposals, which would allow big businesses to sue governments for the loss of profit raised a few eyebrows, and activists feared such initiatives could prevent any effective measures against big businesses.
As The Register writes, it seems as though Brussels is the only major government apparently willing to impose its will on companies like Google or Microsoft.
“The [Commission’s] proposal strongly prioritises trade and investment over public interest standards as these would need to be ‘trade and investment’ proof,” said the groups in a letter calling for the whole chapter to be dropped.
The European Commission argues that TTIP could protect consumers in a better way than they are protected at the moment.