In September 2014, the European Commission refused to register “Stop TTIP,” a petition signed by over three million EU citizens requesting the Commission to stop trade and investment negotiations with the United States and refrain from concluding the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. In its refusal, the Commission argued that the proposed initiative did not fall within its powers.
However, in a May 10, 2017 judgment, the General Court of the European Union annulled the Commission’s decision. The court reasoned that “Stop TTIP” constituted a legitimate and timely initiation of a democratic debate, not an inadmissible interference in the legislative procedure, and that the Commission had no legal basis to reject its registration. The judgment was welcomed by several groups as a victory for European democracy.