12th ROUND OF TTIP NEGOTATIONS ( BRUSSELS )
The 12th round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations took place from 22 to 26 February in Brussels. Our ECLA General Manager was present at the hearing session. Our President Mr. Sergio Marini mentioned it already during the General Assembly last November and the importance company lawyers get involved in the negotiations.
“The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is a trade and investment agreement, which the European Union (EU) is negotiating with the United States - our biggest export market” explains Han Kooy. “Customs duties, red tape and restrictions on investment on each side of the Atlantic can make it unnecessary difficult to buy and sell goods and services from and to the other. Getting rid of these barriers to trade between the EU and the US would boost our economy, create jobs and widen choice and lower prices for consumers. There were 11 rounds preceding this week and there will be at least one more Round before the summer”- follows Han.
During this session some representatives of the EU commission, representatives of the negotiating teams, the press and many stakeholders from various fields attended the event. The stakeholders could make a quick presentation in the morning, while in the afternoon there was the Chief Negotiators’ briefing. The two head negotiators from EU (Ignacio Garcia Bercero) and from US (Dan Mullaney) did their speech and were both interviewed by EU representatives.
Han continues- “It was an interesting opportunity of networking and of increasing ECLA’s visibility, in addition to receive further and appropriate info on TTIP. I could discuss with other company lawyers and made some contacts for the next round where ECLA should make its own presentation”.
On 31 March 2017 ECLA had its Annual General Assembly in Rome, where the national association AIGI acted as an excellent host. The agenda of the meeting contained its usual topics, such as the annual accounts, communication, etc. There was also an intensive discussion on the goals, aspirations and future of ECLA, for which the new President Jonathan Marsh earlier made an appeal to the national associations. The outcome of the discussions, which took place in workgroups, will form a solid basis for further discussions later in the year. Stephan Barthe (Spain) was elected as new secretary of the Executive Board. The topic of young lawyers in AIGI was presented by a young member of AIGI, followed by an interesting discussion.