Categories
Legal reform

Council declassifies TTIP negotiating mandate

cooperating-governements_usa_regulating_flagsNearly a year and a half after its drafting, on 9 October 2014, the Council declassified and disclose the Commission’s negotiating mandate for the free trade talks with the United States better known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Maarten Hillebrandt

The disclosure comes after much public controversy that accompanied the various rounds of talks that have taken place up until now, in spite of the document being leaked at an early stage. Various MEPs, the European Ombudsman, and outgoing Commissioner for trade De Gucht criticised the Council for keeping it under the fold. In its annual transparency report, the EP renewed its pledge to do all in its power to “ensure that future trade negotiations, and in particular the on-going negotiations with the US […] were more transparent and open for stakeholder involvement” (p. 12). The decision to disclose the document at long last has been met with praise by various actors.

Categories
Implementation Legal reform

Transparency of EP committee votes kept off the agenda

The EP’s two largest political groupings, the EPP (people’s parties) and S&D (social democrats), are keeping the item of public voting in parliamentary committees off the agenda.

800px-Fraktionssitzung_Nr_21
Categories
Legal reform Research

A Watershed in the History of European Integration

In the 1980s, Irish Foreign Minister Dooge chaired a technical EU committee that proved instrumental in the move towards the Single European Act and eventually, the European Union.

Categories
Legal reform

New Presidency, New Round of Talks

The Cyprus presidency has entered the EU transparency battlefield.

In an earlier post on this blog, I commented how the Danish presidency, in a race against the clock in the final weeks of June, failed to find a compromise on the transparency reform dossier that found sufficient support among both the member states and the European Parliament. (The latter having shown, over the years, much assertiveness in the area of what is known among lawyers as constitutional law, and among political scientists as oversight or meta-regulation.) The Danes failed miserably – its draft proposals for either a medium- and a light-version of a reformed Transparency Regulation were torpedoed and were criticised by transparency-friendly parties as a sell-out.

As of 1 July, Cyprus has taken over the presidency. From the early start, the Cypriots have shown a keenness to revive the talks and to start a fresh search for political compromise. A team under the experienced (and nicely-named) Cypriot senior diplomat Dionysis Dionysiou has enbarked on a new reconnaissance mission in bilateral talks to gauge the temperature among the various parties involved, bothinside among the Council members, and outside among the co-legislating EP and groups from civil society.