MEPs and the EU Commission have welcomed publication of the EU’s priorities in trade talks with the US, which had long been kept secret. The negotiating mandate for the talks – which are known as TTIP – sets out what the EU hopes to achieve through an eventual free trade deal with the US. It could be the biggest trade deal in the world, creating many new jobs, BBC wrote.
But critics fear such a deal could weaken EU standards in areas such as public health and the environment.
An EU Commission study published a year ago estimated that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could boost the size of the EU economy by 120bn euros (£94bn; $152bn) – equal to 0.5% of GDP – and the US economy by 95bn euros (or 0.4% of GDP).
The EU Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht, said he was “delighted EU governments have chosen today to make the TTIP negotiating mandate public – something I’ve been encouraging them to do for a long time”.
“It further underlines our commitment to transparency as we pursue the negotiations. And it allows everyone to see precisely how the EU wants this deal to work.”
In July the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, had also urged more transparency in the TTIP negotiations. Her plea came in letters to the Commission and the Council – the body representing all 28 EU member states’ governments.