Ivaylo Kalfin Criticises TTIP Agreement

Bulgaria in EU | November 10, 2014, Monday // 17:03|  views

Ivaylo Kalfin. Photo: BGNES

At this stage of negotiations, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement is not useful neither for Europe, nor for Bulgaria, said Ivaylo Kalfin, Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Demographic and Social Policy and Minister Of Social Policy.

“The conclusion of a free trade agreement between the EU and the US has several sides, which have to be carefully analysed,” Kalfin said at a discussion on the TTIP, organised by Solidarity Bulgaria and the Friedrich Ebert foundation in Sofia. “First and foremost, we must have in mind that the free trade among economies at different stage of development is always on the account of the less developed economies. The EU and US economies are very close, but within the EU economy itself, there are lots of differences. If tomorrow we have to enter such an agreement, its negative effects will concentrate on the weaker EU economies, such as Bulgaria's.”

According to Kalfin, this was unacceptable, without Bulgaria getting a compensation and in his words, there were no such prospects.

“We must not seek the negotiations with least resistance,” Kalfin said. “This agreement would mean changes of many perceptions in Europe, including ecology, healthcare and moral categories such as cloning, etc.”

In Kalfin's words, there was also the problem of settlement of disputes between investors and countries. “There are the arbitration courts, but it is up to each country to decide how to act,” he said. “If this becomes a universal procedure for the EU as a whole, then the arbitration procedure poses a number of questions. It is not transparent and it can be influenced.”

In conclusion Kalfin pointed out he was hoping that the negotiations will proceed in a more transparent manner and the potential outcomes of such agreement be carefully analysed.

“If the agreements bring a good result, it would be acceptable, but at this point I don't think they would bring any benefits to Bulgaria.”

Tags: Ivaylo Kalfin, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), EU, US, Bulgaria, economy, free trade agreement


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