Conservatives praise greater openness in trade talks

30-Jan-2015 @ 13:15

Emma McClarkin Emma McClarkin

Andrew Lewer Andrew Lewer

Andrew Lewer Andrew Lewer

Emma McClarkin MEP, Conservative trade spokesman in the European Parliament, today welcomed measures announced by the European Commission to boost transparency surrounding trade agreements.

She said the moves represented a major step in the right direction and a significant response to public concern over openness.

In a two-pronged initiative, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has urged the EU Council to make public its negotiating mandate on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and has also signed up the Commission itself to a transparency convention for existing Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement cases.  Miss McClarkin considers it vital that public reservations over transparency are addressed in order to ensure confidence.

She said:  "The huge value of such agreements cannot be underestimated.  That is why it is so important to take public opinion with us.

"A message has been sent about transparency and I am pleased to see it has been heard and acted upon. A clear lead has been given and it may now be time that individual EU governments could consider publishing in broad terms their own mandates on TiSA.

"You can't play all your cards face up in a negotiation like this, but you can be open with the public about certain priorities and preferences."

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