Madrid, 9 October 2014 – Access Info Europe today welcomed the publication by the Council of the European Union of the negotiating directives for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), following a long battle by civil society and MEPs to obtain this key document, and the opening of an investigation by the European Ombudsman.
Access Info noted that rather ironically, the newly declassified document states at Article 41 that «Nothing in this Agreement should affect EU or Member State laws regarding public access to official documents.»
Indeed, the directives require specific proactive transparency on any rules and measures which will impact on international trade and investment, which clearly goes for the future TTIP itself as well.
«As we can now see, in spite of the commitments in the negotiating directives that should uphold transparency and involve civil society, there is in fact a huge amount of secrecy around the negotiations, which blocks scrutiny, public debate, and participation from non-governmental actors,» stated Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe.
The document released today sets out the parameters for the negotiation of the world’s biggest trade deal, requiring that the EU team ensures that the future agreement safeguards European norms on human rights, health and safety, and labour protections.
There are however concerns that the future trade pact will establish future rules in areas of food quality, consumer protection, and chemicals safety, and that these decisions are being made in secret despite EU treaties saying «Decisions shall be taken as openly and as closely as possible to the citizen.»
Access Info Europe is calling for full transparency around the TTIP through a campaign page launched on the redesigned AsktheEU.org. Citizens are also able to support this and other campaigns by clicking on the new «I also want to know!» button that will help demonstrate the public interest in disclosing the requested EU documents. You can find out more, by taking a look at the video, here.
For more information, please contact:
Helen Darbishire | Access Info Europe
firstname.lastname@example.org +34 667 685 319