On 7 January, the European Commission made an unprecedented step in transparency of a bilateral trade negotiation. As part of the continuous effort, it published its “textual proposals”, that is actual proposals for the legal text made by the Commission in TTIP negotiations, containing the specific wording and commitments that are to make part of the final TTIP. The published textual proposals cover eight areas – from competition, through food safety and SMEs to government-to-government dispute settlement (which is different from the controversial investor-state dispute settlement). Also, the Commission published additional position papers on topics such as vehicles or engineering. These are not proposals for actual wording of the TTIP, but set out the EU´s position in the areas. Together, the EU has thus far published 15 of such position papers. To make the documents more accessible for non-expert readers, the Commission prepared a Reader´s Guide, glossary of terms and acronyms and a series of simplified factsheets.
Although this step is unprecedented, documents regarding some especially sensitive areas will not be published before the end of TTIP talks, for example market access. Also, the EC will not publish the so-called consolidated texts – that is with proposed American wording. However, the EC will expand the number of MEPs with access to all negotiating texts in a special “reading room” to cover all 751 of them.
13th August 2020
21st January 2021