European Commission Formally Commits to Enhanced Transparency in TTIP
The European Commission on Nov. 25 adopted a proposal to significantly increase transparency in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the United States. The Commission indicates in a press release that this decision is “vital to ensure that the general public has accurate and full information on the EU’s intentions in the negotiations, to address the concerns and to evacuate misperceptions.” The communication adopted by the Commission includes the following commitments.
- making public more EU negotiating texts that the Commission already shares with member states and the European Parliament
- providing access to TTIP texts to all members of the European Parliament, not just a select few, by extending the use of a “reading room” to those MEPs who have had no access to restricted documents so far
- classifying fewer TTIP negotiating documents as “EU restricted,” making them more easily accessible to MEPs outside the reading room
- publishing and updating on a regular basis a public list of TTIP documents shared with the European Parliament and the Council
The Commission will also make an effort to report more extensively on the outcome of negotiating rounds and prepare additional online materials that explain EU negotiating positions and approaches. On the other hand, the Commission does not intend to publish any U.S. documents or common negotiating documents without the explicit agreement of the United States. The EU market opening offers on tariffs, services, investment and procurement would not, in principle, be made public either as they are the essence of the confidential part of the negotiations.