The clash between the two main constituencies has led the Parliament to postpone the voting, which in turn allows civil society more time to lobby for the protection of public services.
The European Parliament's president, Martin Schulz, decided last week to suspend the planned plenary vote on the EP's recommendations on TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and to send the amendments back to the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament. Also the plenary discussion was postponed with the tight vote of 183 in favour and 181 against the delay on Wednesday morning. It is now uncertain when the vote will take place.
The delay demonstrates the division between the S&D and the EPP on highly controversial issues of the deal including ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement).
The author of the parliamentary report and chairman of the international trade committee, S&D MEP Bernd Lange, said: " We were ready to vote and fight for a resolution shaped according to our social democratic principles, with strong protection of workers' rights, public services and environmental standards. We will continue to talk to all political groups and try and rally support behind our position."
ETUCE (Education International's European Region) Director, Martin Rømer stated: " We welcome the adjournment of the EP vote on TTIP. It provides additional time to convince MEPs that public services and ISDS have no place in trade agreements. ETUCE continues the fight to ensure that agreements like TTIP do not result in trading away high-quality public services and in undermining democracy".
Further information on the subject:
- Article from the journal Social Europe: "The muddled case for trade agreements"