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08 March 2014

REVEALED: EU position exposed in first leak by Green MEPs on secret EU-US TTIP negotiations

German MEPs Ska Kellar, Rebecca Harms, and Sven Giegold leak position paper in German in the name of transparency

Simon McKeagney, Editor

"With TTIP, companies receive far-reaching rights of action against environmental and social standards - that is unacceptable." - Ska Keller

On Friday March 7, together with the organisation PowerShift, three leading Green MEPs have leaked the EU's position paper on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership just days before the 4th round of negotiations kick-off in Brussels. The paper has been released on a new website called www.ttip-leak.eu. There they explain that this is the “first leak”, indictating that there may be more to follow in the months ahead.

The issue of transparency in the negotiations has been a key concern for Green MEPs and civil society organisations since the talks were announced last year. The European Parliament has no participatory role in negotiations and even members of the European Council are prohibited from seeing the US position texts.

Yet during the Commission’s consultation period on TTIP, 93% of ‘stakeholder’ meetings were with industry or their lobbyists, setting the terms for the talks from the get-go. As a result, national parliaments, members of the public and civil society organisations have no clarity as to what the deal contains, and fears are mounting that the secret talks are centering on a deregulatory “wishlist” by US and EU companies.

On transparency the website says:

‘Instead of a broad discussion process in Parliament and the public about the objectives of the mandate, there was only secrecy. This mandate was adopted by the Council without the participation of the European Parliament and is still officially not open to the public. We want to make the TTIP-transparent negotiations . This includes ensuring that the mandate is publicly available. We also call for the future of co-decision of the European Parliament in the preparation of negotiating mandates.’

Spiegel Online reports that the three MEPs are “breaking a taboo” and goes on to highlight the main areas revealed in the document: investment protection, special rights for investors, protection of cultural property, public services and agricultural products. The leaked paper offers only a glimpse at the type of topics that the deal will touch on, but Sven Giegold asks "If even such a broad mandate is kept top secret, what other documents are kept concealed from the deputies we elected?"

Visit the site here and view the leaked document for yourself.

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