On 8 July 2015, 21 MEPs from the Visegrad Group countries consigned and published a joint statement in support of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, which can yield significant economic and geopolitical benefits to the Visegrad region.

An idea for a joint statement was initiated by Dita Charanzová (the Czech Republic) within the framework of an informal V4 MEP Caucus, and originally signed by Danuta Hübner (Poland), György Schöpflin (Hungary) and Ivan Štefanec (Slovakia). Later, it was co-signed by 17 other MEPs from Visegrad countries from several political groups (EPP, S&D, ALDE, ECR).  

The common TTIP Statement by Visegrad MEPs was published on the very same day when the European Parliament approved its recommendations to European Commission Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiators by 436 votes to 241, with 32 abstentions. Next round of the EU-US TTIP negotiations will take place between 13 and 17 July 2015 in Brussels. After the finalisation of the negotiations, TTIP would need to be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council to enter into force. You can read the text of the statement below:

We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament from the Visegrad group, support the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States of America. We believe that this agreement can yield significant economic and geopolitical benefits to our region.

The total trade value between the USA and our countries – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – amounted to more than 25 billion US dollars in 2014[1]. Trade and U.S. investment could multiply prosperity in Europe several times over if we properly address both the offensive and defensive interests of the European Union. We must bear in mind that international trade is a vital tool for growth and investment for our region. It has been crucial for the transformation of our societies from isolation and economic mismanagement into members of the European Union and equal partners with the United States.

By creating a common transatlantic market space of 850 million citizens, our companies and workers will benefit from one system of rules and regulations in the most affluent market in the world.

Beyond mere economics, we, the representatives of the Visegrad nations, recognise the geopolitical importance of this economic partnership. TTIP is the natural extension of our strategic partnership, and strengthening our economies will also make available the resources needed to withstand common threats.

We support all efforts to conclude this historical agreement by putting aside domestic politics, mercantilism or protectionism, and call on the negotiators to reach an outcome that balances the economic and geopolitical advantages with legitimate trade concerns. The final agreement must be mutually beneficial to all our countries in order to provide for the broadest support from business groups and civil society.

We are aware that the future deal offers an opportunity for both the EU and the US, acting together, to influence globalisation and global standards. We would like to bring a renewed impetus to multilateral negotiations, which are currently close to a stalemate.

We, the Visegrad nations, have enjoyed peace and prosperity since 1989 because we seized the opportunities presented to us and embraced a future which was then unknown. In this spirit, we ask all sides to work for an ambitious agreement that will serve future generations.

 

Dita Charanzová, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Danuta Hübner, Member of the European Parliament, Poland

György Schöpflin, Member of the European Parliament, Hungary

Ivan Štefanec, Member of the European Parliament, Slovakia

 

Michał Boni, Member of the European Parliament, Poland

Pál Csáky, Member of the European Parliament, Slovakia

Martina Dlabajová, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Anna Fotyga, Member of the European Parliament, Poland

Petr Ježek, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Eduard Kukan, Member of the European Parliament, Slovakia

Vladimír Maňka, Member of the European Parliament, Slovakia

Miroslav Mikolášik, Member of the European Parliament, Slovakia

Luděk Niedermayer, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Jiří Pospíšil, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Jaromír Štětina, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Pavel Svoboda, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Pavel Telička, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Róża Gräfin von Thun Und Hohenstein, Member of the European Parliament, Poland

Evžen Tošenovský, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Jan Zahradil, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

Jana Žitňanská, Member of the European Parliament, Slovakia



[1] U.S. Census Bureau, total trade, 2014