Overview: how the European Parliament voted on the TTIP negotiations
Since the discussion on TTIP started in 2013, the European Parliament has adopted two important resolutions regarding the negotiations for the trade treaty. One in 2013 and one last week. What strikes is that there were more votes against the second resolution, but the ratio of the proponents and the opponents amongst the Dutch MEPs remained unchanged.
The European Commission conducts negotiations on behalf of the European Union, and the European Parliament has to approve or reject the final trade treaty. TTIP cannot enter into force without the agreement of the parliament. Therefore the European Commission needs the confidence of the parliament in the negotiations.
In 2013 the European Parliament voted for the resolution to start the TTIP treaty negotiations. The resolution received a large majority of the votes: at that time 460 members voted for to 105 votes against. The majority was formed by the major political groups: The European People’s Party, the Progressive Alliance of Socialist and Democrats (S&D) and the Alliance of the Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
Once the European Parliament has to vote for the final treaty, it cannot be changed anymore. Therefore, in the meantime the parliament is making recommendations for the European Commission regarding the contents of the treaty. Last week the Parliament voted on the resolution Lange, named after the composer of the text, regarding a series of recommendations. The resolution Lange received a support of 61 percent in the European Parliament.
The growing disunity in relation to the results of the voting on the negotiation resolution in 2013 has partly to do with the elections for the European Parliament last year. Since then there are more Eurosceptical parties in the parliament who reject these EU trade treaties, such as the groups Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) and the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF).
In addition, a large part of the S&D group voted against the resolution as well. These MEPs are not against the negotiations in principle, but did not agree with the text in the resolution regarding ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement). Also, the Dutch Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid, PvdA) members, who form a part of the S&D group, voted against the resolution. In their opinion there should have been a clear rejection of ISDS in the text. The chances are that if the TTIP treaty contains the same ISDS terms as in the resolution Lange, these MEPs will vote against the treaty as well.
The following table shows the number of votes per European party. It is clear that the disunity within the S&D group on the TTIP negotiations has grown in the past two years. Despite the growing political opposition the proponents of TTIP have a large majority in the parliament.
Voting results European Parliament on TTIP resolutions
|Voting on resolution, 2015||Voting on resolution, 2013|
The majority of the Dutch MEPs voted for both TTIP resolutions. The voting record of proponents and opponents was as follows:
During the latest voting there were no rebels within the Dutch fractions. As described before, the three Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) MEPs voted against the resolution, as opposed to the majority of the European social democrats.
At the vote in 2013 there were some rebels within the Dutch fractions. For example, the GroenLinks MEP Marije Cornellisen voted, contrary to her fraction, for the resolution, and PvdA MEP Thijs Berman accidentally against it.
Also noteworthy is that the PVV MEPs did not vote during the latest resolution. In the following table a complete overview of the votes of all Dutch parliamentarians is presented:
Voting results on TTIP resolutions of Dutch MEPs
|Resolution 2015||Mandate 2013|
|Name||Party EU||Party NL||Vote||Loyal/
|Hans van Baalen||For||Loyal||Not voted||–|
|Cora van Nieuwenhuizen||For||Loyal||–||–|
|Matthijs van Miltenburg||For||Loyal||–||–|
|Sophie in ‘t Veld||For||Loyal||For||Loyal|
|Esther de Lange||For||Loyal||For||Loyal|
|Wim van de Camp||For||Loyal||For||Loyal|
|Lambert van Nistelrooij||For||Loyal||For||Loyal|
|Corien Wortmann-Kool||–||–||Not voted||–|
|Peter van Dalen||For||Loyal||For||Loyal|
|Thijs Berman **||–||–||Against||Rebel|
|Judith Merkies||–||–||Not voted||–|
|Dennis de Jong||Against||Loyal||Against||Loyal|
|Marcel de Graaff||Not voted||–||–||–|
|Vicky Maeijer||Not voted||–||–||–|
|Olaf Stuger||Not voted||–||–||–|
|Patricia van der Kammen||–||–||Against||–|
|Daniël van der Stoep||None||–||–||For||–|
There is more data on the votes in the European Parliament to be found in VoteWatch Europe. Their data shows, amongst other things, that MEPs from France, Greece, Great Britain and Austria have voted against the resolution Lange in majority.