Eva Paunova, Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament, discussed the ongoing negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the expected outcomes for her country and Europe during a meeting with Dan Mullaney. The exchange of views with the Chief US negotiator on TTIP took place on the 3rd of December 2014 as part of a diplomatic visit of a European Parliament delegation to Washington DC.
According to Mr. Mullaney, the conclusion of the agreement negotiations and the creation of a free trade area on both sides of the Atlantic will reduce regulatory barriers and simplify administrative requirements. Importantly, this will be particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises, which are currently unable to enter the US market due to the high administrative burden.
Reflecting on the national perspective, Ms. Paunova stated that Bulgaria has a lot to gain from a future free trade agreement between the EU and the US. “These negotiations present a historic opportunity for deepening the fruitful relations with our American partners. They are also of strategic importance for Bulgaria, especially in the current situation of geopolitical instability in Eastern Europe. The expected economic benefits from TTIP for the EU amount to more than € 120 billion per year, which means an average of more than € 500 per household. I am convinced that the Bulgarian citizens and businesses will feel the positive impact from a TTIP agreement when enforced. On the one hand, they will be able to benefit from the large choice of goods at lower prices, and on the other, they will have access to the new market opportunities such an ambitious agreement would present.”
According to Eva Paunova, open public dialogue is crucial for dispelling doubts about the future agreement. She asserted that concerns about potential lowering of environmental protection, health and consumer rights standards are unjustified, especially since the European Institutions will be looking very closely into the TTIP agreement prior to the final approval.