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European Commission


Athens, 28 February 2014

"Full support by all EU governments": Statement by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Press conference after the Informal Foreign Affairs Council/ Trade, Athens

As you know, I was in Washington DC last week for the 'political stocktaking' on the EU-US trade deal with my American counterpart US Trade Representative (USTR) Mike Froman.

So today was a perfect opportunity for me to update ministers on the state of play and the way forward on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). As I said in Washington last week at the press conference, we do indeed need to 'step up a gear' on the full range of issues.

As I made clear last week, a successful TTIP will happen through a balanced and comprehensive deal. Our US partners are very aware of that and so I look forward to working with them to ensure that comes about – whether on tariffs or on the regulatory side.

I welcome again the full support of all ministers and all our member states for the on-going TTIP negotiation process. That said, I took the opportunity today to underline the need for the full engagement of their respective governments to explain the benefits of the TTIP project to their respective publics.

As I have said on many occasions, I welcome the open and diverse public discussions on TTIP. That's important for our democracy. But, the debate should be based upon the facts – not just speculation and fear-mongering.

We need to explain together what TTIP can mean for the person working in a small company as well as to someone working in the insurance business as much as to the many Europeans working in the agricultural sector.

No one is better qualified that our own governments to explain to their citizens what TTIP is about and just as importantly what TTIP is not about.

So, I welcome the support voiced today by all our ministers to actively engage with all stakeholders and all their national citizens on the importance and benefits of this future deal.

For further information

Visit the EU's dedicated webpages for more on the EU-US trade talks underway

Factsheet - The core of TTIP: Tackling regulatory barriers to trade (PDF)

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