MEP: Transparency negotiations on trade agreements must be a priority

Marietje
Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) wants furthering transparency around trade negotiations to be a priority for the EU. Today the European Parliament voted in favour of a proposal by Schaake to make more money available to make information about EU trade policy more accessible and to bring it to the attention of people, the proposal would cover 300,000 euros. Schaake: "I am glad that the Parliament has supported this initiative, even if it concerns a relatively small amount of money. It is clear that people increasingly want more explanation about EU trade policy, in the first place in the context of negotiations with the United States, but also more broadly. I want to make sure that the Commission does not only put texts online, which is already being done, but also actively engages with citizens and stakeholders, for example by organising meetings and information sharing events, European member states and the Trade ministers must play a much larger role here, too." Transparency initiative From the European Parliament, ALDE has consistently been pushing or more transparency around negotiations with the United States. Yesterday it was announced that a digital system has been set up to allow MEPs to more easily access confidential texts. Schaake: "It is clear that pressure from Parliament is paying off and has led to more access for information. It is expected that soon all MEPs will also have access to so called consolidated texts, which contain texts from both the EU and the US. The negotiations about TTIP are now the most transparent ever, but more is needed to make information available. We also want the Commission to use the transparency initiative around TTIP to be a model for other negotiations, such as those with Japan. Transparency is crucial to make sure that stakeholders can address their concerns and wishes, to make sure EU trade policy actually delivers concrete results for Europeans." Now that Parliament has adopted the proposal, it will be taken into the negotiations with the Council about the European budget for 2016.