(AGI) Rome, Aug 31 - The European Commission must be fully supported during the "difficult negotiating phase" for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Italian Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda said on Wednesday. "The European Commission is negotiating the TTIP on the basis of a mandate unanimously conferred by member states. It is up to the commission to lead the negotiations. The council, the European parliament and the national parliamentary assemblies will be called, then, to approve the outcome," he said. He went on: "In this difficult negotiating phase it is necessary to assure the commission maximum support to enable it to reach the ambitious result European governments rightly demand. If, on the other hand, there is a desire to withdraw the mandate and definitively interrupt the talks with the USA, one must act in the ways envisaged by the treaties and in the proper fora." Minister Calenda continued: "Further weakening the European institutions, which our governments have, rather recently, committed themselves on various occasions to strengthening, via a constant 'friendly fire' of statements for external use, is counterproductive and contrary to the objectives which the leaders confirmed on the TTIP at the June European Council. It would in any case be extremely difficult to find a reason to justify the interruption of the talks with our main economic and political partner after just two and a half years of negotiation, when in order to seal a less ambitious accord with Canada it took six full years. And it is evident that if that happened Europe would no longer have any credibility to conduct any trade negotiation whatsoever." (AGI). .