Making Sense of TTIP? Trade, Competition, Regulation, Human Rights & Democracy

Post Conference

On 10 June 2016, Liverpool University’s Economic Governance and Human Rights Units organised a joint conference with the title ‘Making Sense of TTIP? Trade, Competition, Regulation, Human Rights & Democracy’. TTIP is highly relevant to public interest due to its potentially significant effects on many public policies, including health and food safety, as well as democracy and state sovereignty. Yet, partially because of the secrecy surrounding the negotiations between the US and the EU; and partially because of the technical nature of the subject, there has been very little informed public discussion of TTIP and how it may affect the lives of European citizens.

With the aim of contributing to the emergence of such a public debate, the conference brought together academics, activists, politicians and citizens for a day of vibrant debate. As part of pre-conference publicity, Dr Firat Cengiz gave an interview to BBC Merseyside explaining TTIP, which attracted significant public attention and contributed to the participation of large number of citizens to the conference.

Although it is not certain whether the TTIP will survive after the Brexit referendum, bilateral agreements are in the process of conclusion with other partners, including Canada and a bilateral UK-US trade agreement is potentially on the horizon. Thus, conclusions reached during the conference with regard trade agreements’ significance as governance phenomena remain highly relevant.

Arguments made and conclusions reached at the conference are summarised here in a blog post. The conference attracted significant attention in online media and tweets coming out of the conference are available on Storify. Likewise, videos of all presentations are available.

Organisers are grateful to the Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice for the generous funding of this conference with a research development fund.