Working lunch of Czech journalists and experts with the Member of European Parliament Dita Charanzová realized in the frame of project Raising media awareness on the EU economic agenda.
Principal conclusions and findings:
- The European Parliament is roughly split in half in its support to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Most of the committees nowadays finish their reports on TTIP. The report by deputy Mrs. Charanzová in the committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection was agreed by a majority of 20 deputies for and 18 against. All reports are now passed to the committee for International Trade, which should include them in its position. This committee is occupied by highly senior members, including several former commissioners.
- The socialist fraction in the European Parliament will most probably be the swaying power on the matter of TTIP in the European Parliament. One of the key issues of TTIP may be the issue of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which is problematic for several western states of the EU. The US position in the negotiations and opening of the US public procurements to the EU may be from the US side conditioned by the existence of ISDS. The Czech Republic may profit from ISDS clause in TTIP as it has an outdated bilateral investment protection agreement with the USA, dating to the beginning of the 1990s. In comparison to this bilateral agreement, the modern ISDS clause in TTIP would improve the position of the state in investment disputes.
- In May 2015 the Commission will reveal its main strategies on how to enhance functioning of the Digital Single Market. It will cover a wide area between the digital competence of the population, the digital infrastructure, the digital state and the digital economy. The Czech Republic scores well in most categories but the lack of progress towards the digital state is its biggest weakness.
- In the area of e-commerce there are several obstacles that hinder single market to function as a market of all 28 EU member states. This ranges from various regulatory disparities among EU member states, including burdensome administration of VAT in different member states and different legal conditions for e-commerce contracts. Other problems include geo-blocking or unreasonable costs from delivery of cross-border supplies. It should not be more expensive to deliver a parcel from Munich to Pilsen (Plzeň) than to deliver it further way from Munich to Berlin.
- Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom