EU Commission wants to wipe out citizens’ involvement in TTIP and CETA

Stop TTIP Press Release

European Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP rejected / Alliance announces resistance The Stop-TTIP Alliance, initiator of a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) against the TTIP and CETA international trade & investment agreements, today announced its opposition to the European Commission’s decision to block the ECI. “Now the battle really begins,” said Michael Efler, contact person of the ECI, which currently represents almost 230 organizations from 21 EU countries. “The rejection of the ECI only confirms the Commission’s strategy to exclude citizens and parliaments from the TTIP and CETA negotiations. Instead of paying attention to citizens, it is just lobbyists that are being listened to.” In its rejection of the ECI, the European Commission claims that the negotiating mandates on TTIP and CETA are not legal acts but internal preparatory acts between EU institutions and therefore not contestable via an ECI. “The Commission’s view that only acts with an effect on third parties are permissible for an ECI is obviously a legal error. The negotiating mandate of the Commission is a formal decision of the Council and therefore a legal act. If the Commission’s legal opinion had any substance, then in plain English this would mean that Europe’s population is excluded from participation in the development of any kind of international agreements – information that is as frightening as it is scandalous,” according to Efler. What’s more, the Commission claims that it cannot make negative ratification proposals and therefore cannot comply with the ECI demand not to conclude the CETA and TTIP negotiations. “Contrariwise, this means that citizens can only applaud international negotiations carried out by the Commission, but not criticize them,” said Efler. Prior to the official submission of the ECI, the Stop-TTIP Alliance commissioned legal counsel, and based on its recommendation is now considering taking legal action against the Commission’s decision, including through the European Court of Justice. “Instead of responding to concerns about a trade policy devoid of people, the Commission has refused a healthy debate,” said Efler. “From a citizen’s perspective this looks very much like a despotic act alienating people throughout Europe. It is grist to the mill of the Eurosceptics.” Against this background the Alliance also calls upon the new President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to correct this anti-democratic decision and to honour his promise to ensure democracy and transparency. “Apparently the Commission is afraid of this ECI, which has the potential to become the most successful citizens’ initiative so far,” said Efler. “If the Brussels bureaucracy thinks that this is how it can stop people’s protests against TTIP and CETA, then it is mistaken. We will not allow the Commission to tie our hands. ” The EU Commission’s justification for rejection: Legal opinion by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Kempen:   Contact: Media Team Stop TTIP,, Tel.: 0049 (0)30 420 823 79, Mobile: +49 178/816 3017 Further contacts: Roland Süß, attac Germany, , +49 175/2725 893 Karl Bär, Environmental Institute Munich,, +49 176/100 94 126 Maritta Strasser, campact,, +49 170/7310897 Ernst-Christoph Stolper, Friends of the Earth Germany,, +49 172/290 3751

GMOs mapped

GMO-map-front-ASEED-uitsnedeASEED made a world map explaining GMO and show some of the involved companies and the campaigns against this type of agriculture. On the backside there is more information. Continue reading

Overview Seed Saving Guides

voorkant-a-seed-savers-guideIt is not too difficult to start saving vegetable seeds from your own plants. But some types are easier than others. And in general it is good to read about some basic tricks first. With some information that is available online you will be able to try some seeds for advances seed savers as well. There is a lot of information online. Continue reading

SEEDmail #32 – July 2014, about our campaign developments and more!

argentinie-maisHi! Here is another irregular ASEED newsletter, including a summary of what has been going on with our campaigns lately as well as what our future plans are. And, as it is summer, we also include an overview of bike tours and camps that you can join. Lastly, we are looking for people who want to do a European Voluntary Service at ASEED! Have a great summer! The ASEED team

Stop TTIP campaign
GMO news
Upcoming summer camps and bike tours
Looking for new seedlings
Looking for donors
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Action camps and biketours in 2014

earthjfirst2014Also this summer it will be possible again to cycle and camp for a good cause. Often this is a more interesting way to spend your time than going to the beach or a commercial music festival, isn’t it? Continue reading

New GM soy from Bayer is resistant against more herbicides

bayerhazardBayer CropScience has launched a new soy product range. The corporation has started selling glyphosate and glufosinate resistant GMO soy seed under the brand name Credenz. Other varieties which have added resistance against so called HPPD herbicides are to follow at a later date.

Dirk Zimmermann of Greenpeace criticised the launch, saying after the failure of glyphosate tolerant plants, Bayer is now ramping up pesticide production. Having joined the arms race of global GM soy cultivation, the corporation has outed itself as an irresponsible war profiteer.

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TTIP DIY action evening in the Vrankrijk

stop-ttip-handThursday July 31st – Amsterdam

With a presentation, discussion, action brainstorm and materials making.

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Portraits of Seed People #2 : Sophia van Ruth

A holistic approach to seeds, food and communities.

Sophia van Ruth has been keen on growing food ever since she first had her own home. Plot, balcony, indoor pots, any little space can do the trick, as she never intended to do it at a professional level. Curiously enough though, she cannot remember when this passion exactly started and where it came from;  influenced by her, her parents have only recently started a veggie garden.

Sophia van Ruth Sophia was working on various projects at the collaborative work space the Hub in Rotterdam when fellow Hub members Eefje Ernst and Marten Witkamp invited her to join an urban farming project they were developing. She happily stepped in, and Urban Edibles was born.

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Wetsvoorstel Europese Commissie: meer GMOs toelaten

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Acties in Den Haag tegen vrijhandelsverdrag TTIP

2014-19mei-denhaag-ttip-overzicht-1000In Den Haag kwamen vandaag (19 mei) zo’n 80 mensen bijeen om te protesteren tegen het TTIP, het vrijhandelsverdrag waarover de EU en de VS op dit moment onderhandelen. De aanleiding was een hearing in de Tweede Kamer over dit onderwerp. Zowel afgevaardigden van het bedrijfsleven als van milieuorganisaties en ontwikkelingsorganisaties mochten de Kamerleden laten weten wat ze van het TTIP vinden en wat hun wensen en bezwaren zijn. Continue reading