09 October 2014

Council agrees release of EU TTIP mandate

Greens welcome decision as a first step in the move toward real transparency

Simon McKeagney, Editor

EU governments have decided to make the TTIP negotiating mandate public today, having previously failed to agree to it last May. The move comes after a year of EU-US negotiations and less than 48 hours before pan-European demonstrations are due across Member States.  

Green trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot welcomed the news, stating:

"Making the negotiating mandate public is an important, if overdue, step for improving transparency in the controversial TTIP negotiations. We welcome this belated initiative on the part of EU governments, but it is important to underline that it is only one part of the picture. If the EU is truly committed to transparency on TTIP, the Commission must now grant access to the negotiating documents. The devil is in the detail and it is only by scrutinising the detail in these negotiating documents that those not directly involved in the negotiations can know where these devils lie." 

The EU mandate, which was leaked earlier this year, has been widely available online for some months. Outgoing Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht had argued in favour of its release for some time, and today said he was “delighted” EU governments decided to make it public. 

Saturday will see over 300 demonstrations take place against TTIP across Europe, a sign that public concern about content of the deal has continued to mount. Yannick Jadot went on to say:

 "There is a large and growing sense of unease and concern among the European public and civil society about the ongoing TTIP negotiations. This concern reflects the broad scope of the negotiations and their possible implications on European standards, and is reinforced by the opaque negotiation process. We need to be sure those negotiating on the EU's behalf do not budge an inch on EU standards and full transparency is key in this regard." 

The mandate, which is now live on the Commission’s website, will provide citizens with a better understanding of the EU’s goals and the scope of the TTIP talks. The Council will also evaluate the success of the negotiations based on this text.

However, the key negotiating texts, in which both sides outline their joint agreements and draft decisions, will remain locked behind closed doors in secure reading rooms, which are currently only open to a handful of MEPs and EU officials, who cannot disclose the content of what they have read. The real test in the Commission's commitment to greater transparency will be their plans to ensure these documents are available to the wider public in the months ahead.

You can read the full mandate here.

Read the Commission's press release here.

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dawn hardy

TTIP is not good for us,we need Free Trade not to b trapped for 35 years with US pulling the string!

Chris Fulford

If in the UK join and support UKIP as the only sure way to free the UK from these mindless imbecile commissioners of the EU.

steve jackson

Um... ukip is in favour of TTIP


Reading the "TTIP mandate" I think that the EU Greens would be wise to immediately read and research the GATS which it refers to. I cannot believe you did not do that already and report your findings here, that is a very serious mistake.

Please, I hope you oppose this "mandate" document very strongly because any document that adopts the pieces of GATS that it mentions is absolutely against the public interest!

GATS was and is very bad in its intent. Its a stealth agenda to dismember the kind of society that is based on the public interest and substitute corporate profit in its stead. Please read up on GATS - perhaps Canada's CCPA site - which I am including a URL to search below, is a good place to start The simple "GATS" PDF search should bring up a bunch of PDF files, Many are worth reading even if they do not seem relevant because what people need to understand is the IDEOLOGY imbedded in the FTAs. That is what cannot be allowed to remain there hidden.Its an attack on civil society's values.

I would especially recommend Facing Facts, and Putting Health First, - there are actually at least a dozen good publications on GATS on the CCPA site Also, on most of the other FTAS. A little known one, FTAA is particularly illuminating. Substitute the other acronyms for GATS. Learn about the concepts they are hiding. And why they are WRONG. The Standstill and Ratchet and the possibility of "indirect expropriation" claims resulting from them are basically the same as pure, explicit ISDS. Very, very bad. Also, watch out for the Provisional Application of these treaties. They do not need to be ratified to have chilling effects on a country and criminogenic effects on its legislators, because they have to lie about that inability to legislate these ISDS proxies cause. They are poison to democracy."GATS"+filetype:pdf That should work. Try it.

Also, if its possible to nominate articles for inclusion on your site, please consider this one and its message. TISA may be a bigger threat to European and American families than TTIP
TiSA: the threat to public services by the backdoor

Alice Foster

We do not need this agreement as it is only in the interests of big business and the Shareholders. Not the people of the countries involved.

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