Politicians and the media might have been too optimistic in 2013 when claiming that a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) should be done “on one tank of gas” (US-Vice President Joe Biden). After 18 months and numerous rounds of negotiations, it has become obvious that concerns about the agreement have grown. The “Stop TTIP coalition” collected more than 1 million signatures calling for a European Citizens Initiative to withdraw the TTIP mandate. In view of the increasing criticism from across the political spectrum, the European Commission opened a public consultation on Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms and European Council finally allowed the publication of the negotiation mandate.
Asylum and migration are issues which make the lack of a common European policy apparent. Asylum, emigration and immigration remain mostly a competence of the member states, as they are considered an issue of national sovereignty and mostly approached from a security perspective. Though harmonization of rules at EU level has been progressing over the past few years, progress towards a common policy towards asylum on the one hand, and legal migration on the other, are urgently needed. Continue reading