TTIP / TAFTA: Meaningful or fake transparency?

Mr Daniel Caspary, European People’s Party (EPP) coordinator International Trade Committee, said this morning that looking at draft negotiation texts does not make any sense.

This morning the EPP group in the European Parliament organised a breakfast debate on the proposed trade agreement with the US (TTIP / TAFTA).

The most interesting remark was about transparency. Many speakers at the meeting pointed out transparency is essential as the agreement involves regulatory convergence (may change our laws). Many speakers called for the timely publication of negotiation texts.

Organising MEP Caspary then said in his closing remarks that after doing it several times he realised that it does not make any sense to look at draft negotiation texts as they are living and changing all the time. He wants to discuss, at a later meeting, how transparency is delivered.

It doesn’t make any sense to look at texts? We are only to listen to the Commission saying what the negotiations are about?

With the software patents directive the Commission told us it was only about computer implemented inventions, not about software patents. Looking at the text, we knew that was not true.

With ACTA, the Commission said the criminal measures were only for commercial scale infringements. Looking at the text we saw that the definition of commercial scale was outrageous.

Looking at texts is essential.

Next week the European Parliament will debate and vote on a resolution on the trade agreement. Will the parliament follow the EPP, and only ask for fake transparency? Or will the parliament adopt a meaningful amendment on transparency? It will be an essential vote.

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