Brussels. - On Wednesday the European Commission published a raft of texts setting out EU proposals for legal texts in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) it is negotiating with the US. This is the first time the Commission has made public such proposals in bilateral trade talks. This aims to reflect the Commission´s commitment to greater transparency in the controversial negotiations, which are heavily criticised.
To make the online documents more accessible to the non-expert, the Commission is also publishing a 'Reader's Guide', explaining what each text means. It is also issuing a glossary of terms and acronyms, and a series of factsheets setting out in plain language what is at stake in each chapter of TTIP and what the EU's aims are in each area.
With this move the Commission aims to put into practice its commitment made last November to ensure more transparency into the TTIP negotiations. The Commission then undertook to:
- make public more TTIP EU negotiating texts that the Commission shares with Member States and the European Parliament;
- provide access to the EU’s TTIP negotiating texts to all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), not just a select few, by extending access to EU restricted documents in a 'reading room' to those MEPs who had no access to such restricted documents so far;
- classify fewer TTIP negotiating documents as 'EU restricted', thus making them more easily accessible to MEPs outside the reading room;
- publish and update on a regular basis a public list of TTIP documents shared with the European Parliament and the Council.
- publish information about who meets its political leaders and senior officials.
The 12 position papers already published cover financial services, public procurement, regulatory coherence, technical barriers to trade, food safety and animal and plant health, chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, vehicles, sustainable development, and energy and raw materials.
The texts can be found here.