[TechDirt] Learning From ACTA: Will TAFTA/TTIP Be More Transparent Than TPP?

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It’s still early days for TAFTA/TTIP, but already there are some signs that senior politicians are becoming aware that transparency is no longer some minor aspect of these trade talks, but a hugely important issue in itself. We know this thanks to an earlier fight by the European Digital Rights (EDRi) group to obtain from the European Parliament various documents relating to ACTA — the result of an infamously opaque process. […]

However, in [the ACTA] case the European Parliament explained that it was bound by a confidentiality agreement that had been negotiated by the European Commission, and was therefore unable to release the requested ACTA documents. […]

That advice [by the European Ombudsman] itself is noteworthy, since it specifically discourages the use of confidentiality agreements that might hamper transparency. In reply, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, […] wrote that […] [H]e promised to keep reminding the Commission that a pro-active approach is needed to keep the public informed about the state of play in all such negotiations.