Today, Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan announced his intention to further step up the European Commission's transparency commitments by, among others, systematically reporting on the work of all committees established under EU trade agreements.
Speaking to civil society representatives in Brussels, Commissioner Hogan said: “The EU is already the world's most transparent public authority when it comes to trade policy, and we are keen to do even more. This is why I am proud to announce a new set of commitments to step up our transparency efforts. This will further strengthen our global leadership position in relation to shaping a transparent and inclusive trade policy.”
The new package of transparency measures includes also the publication of
-the Commission's decision authorising Member States to conduct bilateral investment negotiations,
-non-business sensitive summary records from the meetings of the Trade Defence Instruments Committee and
-Commission recommendations for negotiating directives, not only for preferential trade agreements, as this is already the case, but also for non-preferential ones. Commissioner Hogan also confirmed that the Commission's initiative to publish documents released under the Access to documents' Regulation will equally apply to trade-related documents.
The commitments that fall under the transparency package will come into effect as of today and will apply to the relevant documents from this day forward.
The measures announced today build on the pro-active transparent approach to trade policy already pursued by the European Commission. The Commission systematically publishes information at all stages of trade negotiations. These include: Commission proposals to the Council for draft negotiating directives of preferential trade agreements; reports of negotiation rounds, EU initial negotiating proposals, Sustainability Impact Assessments and the negotiated text, as soon as it exists in an agreed consolidated version.
The European Commission also actively reaches out to stakeholders to receive concrete substantive input to achieve an evidence-based EU trade policy at all stages. It carries out open public consultation before a policy initiative, carries out public consultations, civil society dialogues and outreach activities during negotiations and engages with interested stakeholders in the implementation phase of trade agreements through civil society advisory bodies.
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