When the European Commission was asked if the TiSA negotiations were secret, its answer was: “No. Trade negotiations are not held in public, but they are not secret.” They are right, in a way: the public is not informed, but the negotiations are not secret for everyone. Big business industries are consulted beforehand (see for example, here
) and their positions included in negotiating strategies, while civil society, parliamentarians, trade unions, regulating agencies, services users and others are not informed about the agenda or the different positions before a negotiating round, are much less consulted while forming negotiating positions. There is little meaningful information officially and publicly published. Even the European Commission’s mandate
to negotiate TiSA, given by EU member states, was only published two years after the fact.It is worth pointing out that trade negotiations have historically always taken place behind closed doors, making corporate lobbying much easier to hide and much harder to control. This is in stark contrast to the UN Climate Negotiations, which happen in public with relatively open access for NGOs and other civil society groups.