As one of the world’s leading trading nations and Europe’s largest economy, many expected Germany to lead the charge among European countries in favor of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). To some surprise, however, the TTIP debate in the country has taken an increasingly adversarial tone over the past year. Although some opposition was anticipated in Germany regarding food safety and environmental issues, the country was not expected to be a potential hurdle on the way to a U.S.-EU free trade deal.
As GMF Transatlantic Fellow Peter Sparding writes in this GMF Europe Policy Paper, “Germany’s Pivotal Role on the Way to TTIP,” the German public debate on TTIP and the persistence of fears have reached such a degree that policymakers and officials on both sides of the Atlantic need to seriously consider the risk of a failure or serious downscaling of the agreement. Without careful handling, the German TTIP discussion could potentially harm both the EU’s image in Germany as well as the already strained transatlantic relationship, instead of delivering a much-needed boost to both. Sparding argues that the most-voiced German concerns will need to be effectively addressed in order for TTIP to stand a chance of reaching its full potential.Peter Sparding. “Germany’s Pivotal Role on the Way to TTIP.” GMF Europe Policy Paper 5/2014, November 13, 2014.