Six weeks after the launch of the Alternative Trade Mandate pledge campaign by a coalition of around 80 European civil society organisations, more than 180 EP candidates have already pledged to support the nine Alternative Trade Mandate proposals once they will be elected.

Transparency and democracy are at the heart of the Alternative Trade Mandate principles: “EU trade deals are negotiated behind closed doors in the interests of a few corporations. People who are affected by these deals, both in the EU and abroad, are not consulted”, says Pietje Vervest from the Transnational Institute, a member of the Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance in the Netherlands.

More transparancy needed

180+ candidates now support this demand for more transparancy, in particular the systematic publication of the texts and documents relating to trade and investment agreements, and a larger role of Parliaments in the decision-making process.

“We need MEPs to stand up for an open and democratic EU trade policy-making process, controlled by the people of Europe and their elected representatives, rather than driven by unelected technocrats and corporate lobby groups.”

Neutralise threats posed by TTIP

The planned Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) between the US and the EU contains investment protection clauses (ISDS) that are also highly criticised by civil society organizations, since they could deprive states and public authorities from the capacity to enforce regulations and laws protecting the public interest.

In order to neutralise this threat, EP candidates have been asked to oppose the inclusion of ISDS provisions in future EU trade agreements. The names of the candidates who pledged are visible on the ATM website and the pledge letter is also available online.