TTIP-triggered discontent and rejection is no longer restricted to Eastern Central European EU member states. Critical voices have become louder and louder in Western EU countries and overseas as well. “So much so, that even German government members are now talking about the failure of the negotiations,” said Jobbik MP Tibor Bana in his Parliamentary interpellation to try and elicit the Hungarian government’s position on the matter.
In his recent statement in late August, Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said “The negotiations with the USA have de facto failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to American demands,” Bana points out that, in spite of such important statements, the Hungarian government’s position still remains unclear. The MP’s earlier inquiries have received such responses as the negotiations must nonetheless continue and since it will be a mixed agreement anyway, i.e., it will still need to be ratified by the member states, we’ll have time to contradict then, Bana said. However, he also expressed his opinion that this attitude was highly risky. The reason why he suggests more caution is that it’s not at all certain yet that TTIP will be a mixed agreement: as far as CETA, the EU-Canada free trade agreement is concerned, the European Commission just decided to treat it as a mixed agreement right before its signature. There is no guarantee that they will give TTIP the same treatment. In Bana’s view, it is clear that Hungary’s government has a lot to answer for, such as:
What is Hungary’s current position on the TTIP issue, after seeing how more and more Western politicians are criticizing it? Can we expect the Hungarian Parliament to reject CETA? GMO should be rejected in a much more pronounced way, but we are experiencing right the opposite, a more lenient attitude in this matter, what are the government’s plans in this regard?
Bana informed the press that he could not accept the state secretary’s answer to his interpellation on TTIP, which represents a major threat to Hungary’s sovereignty, food safety and labour force alike. The reason for his dissatisfaction with the response is that the government failed to express a firmly articulated and clear position in the matter. “Along with the MEPs of the Socialist Party and the Democratic Coalition, Fidesz MEPs have always supported the trade agreement in the European Parliament whenever there was a vote on it, and many leading Fidesz politicians made statements to the same effect,” says the MP’s press release.