EU Discloses Document on Trade Talks With US

9 October 2014

The Council of the European Union Oct. 9 published its previously secret negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States.

“Although the directives empowering the European Commission to talk to Washington on the EU’s behalf were classified, they have in fact been freely available online since June 2013,” explained an article in

Although rather general in nature, member states had refused to disclose the 17-page document which lays out the EU’s negotiation goals.

EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly who has been investigating the lack of document disclosure about controversial trade talks, praised thee decision as “a good day for TTIP transparency.

“I am delighted to see that all member states in the Council now share the view of many, that given the potential impact of TTIP on the lives of citizens, key documents, such as the negotiating directives, have to be published,” she said.

But NGOs sounded a note of caution, noted, quoting Olivier Hoedeman, of Corporate Europe Observatory, as saying: “This hopefully will set a precedent, making it normal practice to publish documents around international trade talks. But the Council should clarify whether this signals a new transparency policy, or is nothing more just an empty gesture.”

European Commissioner Karel de Gucht said:

I’m delighted EU governments have chosen today to make the TTIP negotiating mandate public – something I’ve been encouraging them to do for a long time. It further underlines our commitment to transparency as we pursue the negotiations. And it allows everyone to see precisely how the EU wants this deal to work, so it contributes to economic growth and jobs’ creation across Europe while keeping our commitment to maintain high level of protection for the environment, health, safety, consumers, data privacy, or any other public policy goal.

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Filed under: IFTI Watch


In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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