A Trojan horse or a trading cornucopia? The pros and cons of the proposed transatlantic partnership

150 150 Time To Talk

At 19:00 EET on Monday the 29th June 2015, The Red House hosted a debate looking at different perceptions of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP]. This debate was in Bulgarian and took place in Sofia, within The Red House’s Red Hall at 15 Lyuben Karavelov Street.

A Trojan horse or a trading cornucopia? The pros and cons of the proposed transatlantic partnership

Many European citizens have resisted the TTIP from the very start, reflecting the currently widespread distrust of free market economics. People’s suspicions of the TTIP are also fed by the strict confidentiality restrictions surrounding the negotiations, which are, depending on whom you ask, either inevitable or unprecedented and scandalous.

In June 2015, Martin Schultz [the chairman of the European Parliament] decided, in the face of a large number of objections and proposed amendments, to postpone voting on a resolution to the TTIP and to allow more discussion of the topic

While advocates of the agreement claim that Europe is doomed to stagnation and economic marginalisation without the TTIP, its opponents fear that it will open the door to changes which will reduce the quality of life currently enjoyed by Europeans.

The Red House therefore invited two prominent figures in Bulgarian TTIP discourse to discuss the pros and cons of their different stances towards the trade agreement. With Krassen Stanchev supporting and Vanya Grigorova opposing the TTIP, the debate asked:

  • Will the TTIP bring economic growth and raise incomes on both sides of the ocean or will it mainly serve to weaken controls in matters such as genetically modified [GM] foods?

  • Does the TTIP threaten state sovereignty, by allowing multinational companies to put more pressure upon state bodies?

  • How will the TTIP benefit people and economies on both sides of the Atlantic, will it lead to greater economic liberalisation or to greater protection against the predations of corporations?

  • How will the TTIP affect Bulgaria?


Dr. Krassen Stanchev is an associate professor at Sofia University as well as a board chairman, founder member and former executive director of Sofia’s Institute for Market Economy. He is also a former member and committee chairman of the Constitutional Assembly (1990-1991), where he drafted and led a number of reforms as Bulgaria sought to transform itself into a market economy. Since the 1990s, he has worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Caucasus (Armenia and Georgia), Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), Russia and Montenegro, leading teams and occasionally subcontracted to the EU, USAID and the World Bank.

Vanya Grigorova has an M.A. in Marketing from Sofia’s University for National and World Economy. She is the chairwoman of the Solidarity Bulgaria Association, an activist and a researcher, who has advocated a number of campaigns in Bulgaria, bringing more attention to themes such as controlling genetically modified produce, shale gas extraction and, most recently, the TTIP. In the course of the current TTIP campaign, Vanya has contributed to drafting one of the most comprehensive anti-TTIP reports in Bulgaria.

Троянски кон или рог на изобилието? За и против Трансатлантическото партньорство между Европа и САЩ

29. юни (понеделник) 2015, 19:00 – Червена зала, ул. “Любен Каравелов” № 15, София. На български език и вход свободен – резервирай място.


От самото си възникване като проект, ТПТИ среща съпротивата на голяма част от европейските граждани – една демонстрация на кризата в доверието в свободния пазар, която днес е общо място в Европа. Недоверието към ТТИП намира основания и в поверителността на преговорите – неизбежна според защитниците, безпрецедентна и скандална според критиците на споразумението.

В средата на юни 2015 г., поради огромния брой възражения и предложения за промяна, Председателят на Европейския парламент Мартин Шулц отложи гласуването на резолюция за ТПТИ, за да продължи дискусията по темата.

“Без ТТИП Европа е осъдена на стагнация и икономическа маргинализация”, казват защитниците на споразумението. “ТТИП ще подкопае качеството на живот на европейците”, казват техните опоненти.

В този дебат каним двама от най-ярките защитници на противоположните позиции към ТТИП, за да си отговорим на въпросите:

  • Ръст на икономиките и доходите от двете страни на океана или снижен контрол върху генномодифицираните храни ще донесе ТТИП?
  • Заплашен ли е суверенитетът на държавите срещу натиска на мултинационалните компании?
  • Повече либерализация или повече защита срещу корпорациите ще са от полза на хората и икономиките?
  • Какъв ще е ефектът за България от приемането на ТПТИ?

Дебат с участието на:

Красен Станчев – Център за пазарна икономика.

Ваня Григорова – Сдружение „Солидарна България”.