On 2 December, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung formally signed the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement. The negotiations were concluded and the deal was finalized in August, but there was a number of pending issues that needed to be resolved. One of them was obviously EC´s new ISDS approach, originally announced for TTIP. Ad hoc private tribunals are to be replaced by a permanent public structure with an appeals body, publicly selected judges and transparent rulings. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem announced that Vietnam agreed to this approach.
On the same date, the European Parliament announced that it had concluded a deal with the Commission on access to restricted TTIP negotiating documents. Up until now, EU´s positions on the majority of topics were made fully public, with some restricted to policymakers only. The so-called consolidated versions, with US positions alongside the EU ones, were most restricted – on the EP side, only about 30 MEPs involved in the oversight of the negotiations were allowed to read them. As of now, all 751 MEPs are allowed to read these documents, labelled EU-restricted, in a safe room inside the EP building. They will also be allowed to take hand-written notes and to use the information in their policy work. Similar access will be allowed for national parliaments´ members soon, according to EurActiv.
26th February 2018
9th March 2018