Brussels – For the past hours thirty Greenpeace activists from seven countries have blocked the entrances to the Brussels building where EU and US negotiators were due to hold secret talks for a trade deal that would give multinational corporations unprecedented power.

CORRECTED: Photos and video of today’s protest available here (updated link).


Activists Block Secret TTIP Talks in Brussels © Philip Wilson / Greenpeace

As a result, the talks have been delayed. In the past hour one side entrance has been opened, and some negotiators have been able to enter the building escorted by police.

However, the activists are still in place and the protest continues.

The activists used wooden and metal barriers to block the entrances, while climbers unfurled a banner depicting a ‘dead-end’ road sign that read: “TTIP: dead end trade deal”.

The protesters warned that TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement – is a threat for democracy, environmental protection, healthcare standards, and working conditions.

Negotiators were today due to start a five-day long round of talks on controversial plans to allow foreign investors to challenge rules and laws that protect people and nature, including on food, chemical pollution and energy. The scheme favoured by the Commission – known as Investor Court System (ICS) – would give a new court jurisdiction over democratic states to defend the interests of multinational corporations.

Concern about TTIP is growing and involves a wide spectrum of society, including NGOs, the health sector and businesses [1]. Greenpeace is giving a voice to the millions of Europeans who have signed petitions and taken to the streets in defence of EU standards on food safety, toxic chemicals, healthcare and workers’ rights.

Notes:

–        For more information on the protest, click here.

–        For a Q&A on TTIP, click here.

[1] For Germany see here. For the UK see here. For Austria see here.

Contact: Greenpeace EU press desk – +32 (0)2 274 1911, pressdesk.eu@greenpeace.org

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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.