Pittella & Lange: "S&D Group was ready to vote on TTIP. Other political groups were not"
Following yesterday's announcement by EP president Martin Schulz to postpone the plenary vote on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), S&D Group president Gianni Pittella and Bernd Lange, rapporteur on TTIP and chair of the EP international trade committee, confirmed today in Strasbourg their commitment to fight for a progressive TTIP and the strong involvement of the EP in the negotiation process.
Commenting on the latest developments, Gianni Pittella said:
"The S&D Group did not ask for the postponement. We were ready to go to the plenary and vote on the TTIP resolution. Other relevant groups cannot say the same.
"Given the puzzled situation, we welcomed the decision taken by the EP president Martin Schulz. It was a wise and independent decision that has prevented the EU Parliament rejecting the resolution.
"As of today, we will commit to defending the huge achievements we have obtained in terms of consumer protections, workers' rights, food and environmental standards and the protection of public services from privatisation.
"We are convinced that a fair TTIP could further boost economic growth and job creation and could create opportunities for SMEs especially. However, we stress again, the whole of the S&D Group is against ISDS. We welcome the public discussion on this issue. Now it is up to the Conservatives to take responsibility in the face of public opinion and decide whether they really want a resolution or not. We are ready."
Bernd Lange, S&D MEP and EP rapporteur on TTIP, added:
"It is clear that there is a group of MEPs who are in principle anti-trade and anti-TTIP and they will vote against any resolution. Obviously we cannot work with this group since we do not share the same approach to trade policy.
"We will continue to talk to all political groups to rally support for a TTIP without ISDS.
"It is up to the Conservatives to take responsibility and decide whether they want a resolution or not.
"With regard to the amendment, I restate that we needed this clarification in the text to ensure it cannot be misinterpreted.
"We need to decide if we want likes on Facebook or to engage in constructive discussions."