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Democracy and Transparency

The European Commission and governments involved in trade deal talks must do more to improve transparency regarding the ongoing negotiations. After coming under criticism for refusing to reveal what was being negotiated under TTIP, including by the European Ombudsman, the European Commission disclosed some documents. However, these papers are frequently out of date by the time they are released. US negotiators tend to disclose almost nothing at all.

Even members of national parliaments have only limited and strictly restricted access to so-called consolidated negotiating texts in special reading rooms. Consultations with civil society and stakeholder meetings are little more than content-free formalities.

Any improvement in transparency must fulfill at least the following principles: greater public access to negotiating documents; more active disclosure of documents; more balanced and transparent public participation throughout the negotiating process.