Pierre Defraigne - Executive Director
Madariaga Paper, Vol. 7, No. 9 (October 2014)
What makes TTIP interesting is that it forces Europeans to enquire into their identity, national, European or Atlantic, and to question the European project, economic space or social model, dependant partner or in charge of its own strategic capacity. The timing is right as changes are gathering speed around Europe. China is becoming the leading economy of the world; in the wake of a new world economic slowdown, the Eurozone is entering its third recession and the effects of climate change are being felt in Europe.
The real question surrounding TTIP is whether it reinforces Europe’s ability to preserve the unique values of civilisation that the European societal model incorporates and affirms vis-à-vis the rest of the world, or whether it puts Europe on a dangerous path for her identity and security.
It is not enough to make a critical evaluation of TTIP and to conclude that is will lead to a stalemate, which is what has been done in the attached essay. What is needed is an alternative that is not the current status quo i.e. Europe’s paralysis and impotence in the face of unemployment and rising poverty within Europe and growing instability and insecurity outside Europe. It is also necessary to redirect trade liberalisation towards objectives of common interest for the world.
This short essay recommends putting an end to TTIP as soon as possible but also recommends choosing another path for development for Europe. It would be a shame to waste all the energy that TTIP rallies in opposition of this project, without taking advantage of it to further the causes of justice and responsibility in the face of a systemic crisis of market capitalism that the European institutions are unable to master.
The European people have to be brought together for a commonality of destiny: not a community of security but a community of project. Europe needs to rediscover the taste for testing new social, political and henceforth environmental ways of life, so as to open up the path to transition towards a carbon-free global economy and towards a fair and secure international order for other countries. These issues are also outlined in this essay in counterpoint to TTIP criticism. Europe has to return to its tradition of pioneering society. This essay only recommends putting an end to TTIP and taking the plurilateral route in order to rebuild something better.
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