How can we regain democratic control and influence processes that threaten to undermine it? These are relevant questions in view of the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The TTIP is negotiated behind closed doors between the European Union and the U.S. which has caused big social controversies. The European Commission does not want the agreement to be a subject in the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament. Together with its partners, SOMO tries to influence political decision-making on the TTIP to improve democratic control on the European level. This newsletter gives more background information on the TTIP.

In view of the elections to the European Parliament, SOMO organises a debate between party leaders on the 23rd of April 2014, together with the ‘Fair, Green and Global’ Alliance. The theme of the debate is ‘A greener and fairer way out of the crisis?’ The debate will be held in De Brakke Grond (Amsterdam) and will be moderated by Sandra Rottenberg. Around the same time, an expert meeting will be organised by SOMO, the Dutch Consumer’s organisation, the labour union, Oxfam Novib and Finance Watch. Future MEPs will talk about the possible new European reform agenda regarding the regulation of the financial sector.

Finally SOMO congratulates its alliance partner the Transnational Institute (TNI) with its 40 year anniversary. SOMO has been working for many years with TNI to improve democratic processes through critical research and by formulating alternatives for the current economic system.