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the secrets

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BREAKING NEWS: Greenpeace reveals 16 secret documents as of April, 2016

no to TTIP

open 7th of January 2015: the level of secrecy is lowered

On the 7th of January 2015 the European Commission lifted part of the secrecy from the negotiations which are taking place. Obviously this is not because of my petition on change.org, but it proves that it was necessary to have more information. The official documents submitted are here and we are told that they will be more in time to come.

On the 25th of November 2014, with the decision C(2014)9052, the Commission lowered the level of secrecy of the documents regarding TTIP from EU Restraint to Limited. This allows European Members of Parliament which up to then didn’t have access to the “reading room” to see the secret documents but nevertheless without making photocopies or anything else. The decision of the Commission confirms that in any case the proceedings still in course of negotiation with the US will be kept secret (even to the Members of the European Parliament) until the US will not give explicit authorization for disclosure.

On the 25th of November 2014, with the decisions C(2014)9051 and C(2014)9048, the Commission stated that the meetings between the DG’s and the Members of the European Commission with freelance professionals and associations had to be made public. In practice, these are official meetings with the lobbies. What must be made public of these meetings are: date, premises, name of the member of the Commission and/or the member of Cabinet, object of the meeting but the subject matter of the meeting remains confidential!

On the 25th of November 2014, with the decisions C(2014)9051 and C(2014)9048, the Commission stated that the meetings between the DG’s and the Members of the European Commission with freelance professionals and associations had to be made public. In practice, these are official meetings with the lobbies. What must be made public of these meetings are: date, premises, name of the member of the Commission and/or the member of Cabinet, object of the meeting but the subject matter of the meeting remains confidential!

On the 9th of October 2014 the EU published the declassified version of the “Negotiation Directives for the Transatlantic Partnership for Exchanges and Investments between the European Union and the United States of America” which had been drawn up on the 17th of June 2013 but had been kept secret for over a year!

open The “technical“ details of the TTIP agreement are secret

  • The official meetings between the US and the EU delegations are secret.
  • All decisions made during the meetings are secret.
  • USA and EU populations will be informed of the details of the agreement only when this will be submitted for Parliament approval.
  • National Parliaments are unaware of the works in progress.
  • National Governments are unaware of the works in progress.
  • Until the TTIP doesn’t have a clear cut, the European Members of Parliament will not be aware of the wholeness of the texts that are drawn up during the US and EU meetings. Initially the Members of Parliament had no access to the texts, then under urgent requests of some of them (among them the Italian Tiziana Beghin) only the group leaders of the European Parliament were allowed access to documentation (but not to all!). Document can be accessed in a closed room, without being able to take notes or photocopy documents and taking oath not to reveal anything. As from the 7th of January 2015 access to the reading room was extended to the other Members of the European Parliament (decision C(2014) 9052). Some documents continue to be secret.

open Why all this secret?

To those who ask the reason of all this secrecy regarding the TTIP it is usually answered that economic negotiations are always secret in order to not advantage the competitors. But this answer is not convincing:

  • How could the competitors take advantage by knowing the progress of the TTIP agreement?
  • What is the sense of keeping the procedures for the definition of an international agreement top secret when it will inevitably become public when it will be voted by the US and EU Parliaments?
  • The two Parliaments will have few months to analyze, study and vote the enormous amount of technical documents of the TTIP and they will have to vote it in a body without the possibility of any amendments. Take it or leave it!
  • Are there really the legal basis for such a secret?

open Secrecy is necessary to avoid the reactions of the people.

It is therefore reasonable that secrecy was asked for and obtained. Otherwise the public opinion could have objected to such an agreement. In this way instead, the US and the EU Parliaments will have little time to accept or refuse a great amount of rules, tables and indexes. Also, secrecy prevents citizens from the possibility of enquiring and if need be expressing their dislike democratically.

Many rise against the secrecy of the TTIP. Here is a good example.

official documents