The “fresh start” to the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks includes more transparency, to show EU citizens “what’s in there for them”, stepping up civil society involvement in the talks, and “ambitious and realistic” goals for EU access to the US goods, services and public procurement markets, EU trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström told the International Trade Committee on Wednesday.
Ms Malmströmreassured MEPs that the Commission had already started publishing previously restricted TTIP talks documents, as promised in its TTIP “transparency initiative” communication last week.
She also announced that the results of the public consultation on the “investor-state dispute settlement clause”, (enabling investors to bring proceedings against foreign governments), would be published a “few weeks before Christmas”, with a view to consulting the European Parliament and Council of Ministers in January and tabling a common approach to be taken up in the TTIP talks in spring next year.
Ms Malmström added that a new EU trade strategy would also be published next year.
In their questions and remarks, MEPs stressed the need refocus the trade debate on the EU’s "offensive" interests, rather than its “defensive” ones. Transparency must also apply to other trade talks, besides the TTIP ones, they insisted.
Finally, MEPs asked Ms Malmström about trade talkswith Japan and Singapore, investment talks with China, the chances of concluding the World Trade Organization “Doha round” negotiations and bringing India back to the multilateral talks table, and the impact of the Trans-Pacific trade partnership on the EU's bilateral trade relations.