The biggest free trade deal in history is being negotiated now. If finalised, this will be the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States of America.
This matters to everybody because we’re all living on this Earth. But we’re not seeing much about it because the talks are shrouded in secrecy. We can learn a little bit more from these films by people who don’t like the TTIP.
This week, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Sophie in ‘t Veld won a court case about public access to documents. The case wasn’t directly about the TTIP secrecy, but it opens the door.
In the article I’ve just linked to, the news website EurActiv tells us some of what Ms in ‘t Veld’s triumph means. ‘Steven Peers, professor of EU law and human rights law at the University of Essex, said: “This judgment makes it possible to apply for any documents which include legal advice on the TTIP negotiations, with a very good chance of success. This might include advice on controversial issues such as genetically modified organisms and data protection.
‘“However, the Council and Commission can still refuse access to the negotiating mandate for the talks, and to any parts of the legal advice which mention that mandate. So overall, it’s a fairly modest step forward.”
‘In ‘t Veld said the ruling would effect the transparency of the TTIP process, especially when combined with public pressure over transparency
‘”I think the negotiators will be aware of this ruling and they may think twice before making documents confidential,” she told EurActiv last night.’
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Good news, maybe.
What do you mean?
That the details of the TTIP might be made public.