Madrid, 31 October 2014 – Increased disclosure, more proactive transparency of key documents and a more balanced influence of interests were the key issues raised in Access Info Europe’s submission to the public consultation opened by the European Ombudsman on the transparency of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.
The talks, conducted between the EU and the US, will determine future rules that will govern the daily lives of citizens on both sides of the Atlantic, including the quality of food, consumer protection, and chemicals safety. Yet, citizens have effectively been shut out as stakeholders due to a lack of information or documentation being made publicly available.
In its submission, Access Info Europe set out specific recommendations for improving the transparency and accessibility to the public of the TTIP negotiations. These include:
» Disclosure of documents following access to documents requests made via the platform AsktheEU.org, notably by restricting the application of exceptions contained in Regulation 1049/2001 to protect international relations. Access Info is concerned that denials to access information are sent to members of the public and whilst these documents are actively shared with private businesses.
» Proactive publication of key documents, and measures to ensure that this information is regularly updated. Access Info Europe recently welcomed the Council of the European Union’s decision to publish the TTIP negotiating mandate, but there are many others that remain classified and/or are withheld.
» Ensuring a balanced participation in and influence of interests on the negotiations by making available to citizens and civil society key information and documentation, through open participatory mechanisms, and by fostering healthy public debate on the issue.
In addition to opening this consultation, the EU Ombudsman has called for more proactive disclosure of documents on the TTIP negotiations and has opened an own-initiative inquiry into the Council of the EU and the EU Commission’s lack of transparency around these talks.
Campaign for more TTIP transparency
Take a look at the AsktheEU.org campaign page on TTIP transparency and find out what citizens are requesting about the negotiations. You will also find more information about why it is important that the talks are transparent and how they will affect you.
For more information, please contact:
Pam Bartlett Quintanilla | Access Info Europe
firstname.lastname@example.org +34 913 656 558