Karel De Gucht
European trade commissioner Karel De Gucht addresses a crowd. Reuters

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will "change people's lives for the better", according to Karel De Gucht, the European commissioner for trade.

De Gucht defended the treaty after a number of weeks in which it faced heavy criticism.

Speaking at the Wroclaw Global Forum 2014 in Poland, a foreign policy conference, he denied that TTIP would lead to the removal of corporate governance and that it would "give total dominion to multinational corporations".

He also refuted claims that the sorts of genetically modified foods currently not permitted on European markets would be introduced as a result of TTIP.

"There are some who say that the European Union and the United States are prepared to give total dominion to multinational corporations through investor to state dispute settlement even when we have explained that our objective on investment is quite the opposite," De Gucht said.

He did not elaborate, however, on why this is the case, but said that instead of less regulation, TTIP will mean "stronger safeguards that will help avoid frivolous cases and ensure that we protect our right to regulate, while continuing to encourage job–creating investment".

In recent months, opposition to TTIP, which was first announced in 2013, has escalated.

The statistics used to promote the treaty have been questioned by academics. Supporters have claimed that the deal could be worth €119bn (£97bn, $163bn) a year to the EU and €95bn a year to the US.

One report, however, found that "estimated gains from TTIP are very small"; that it will likely have minimal impact on EU unemployment and that any impact on EU exports (a maximum 10% increase) will take place over a number of decades, rather than immediately.

Politicians have also been labelled "undemocratic" for the perceived secrecy of negotiations. In May, a group of 120 European NGOs attacked TTIP's "lack of transparency and democratic procedures".

Again, De Gucht refuted the claims, saying: "Let me be clear: I welcome this debate. Detailed public discussion can only lead to better policies. And it is a core part of our democracy."