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Parliamentary questions
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14 October 2005


for Question Time at the part-session in November 2005

pursuant to Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure

by Sajjad Karim

to the Commission

  Subject: Greater transparency and accountability in the WTO negotiations

 Answer in plenary 

Trade is a matter of exclusive EU competence. It is, therefore, essential that MEPs, as elected representatives, are able to give EU trade policy full democratic scrutiny. The use of an unelected secretive committee, such as the Article 133 Committee which reports to the Council of Ministers, to formulate trade policy erodes the legitimate authority of MEPs to act on behalf of their constituents. With suggestions that even the strongest supporters of the WTO's NAMA, like the UK Government, are having trouble in proving that ‘free’ trade will actually satisfy their rhetoric on both poverty and sustainability, and with criticism from the European Ombudsmen concerning the transparency of trade discussions and negotiations, what plans does the Commission have to improve public access to the WTO negotiations? In particular, is the Commission going to conduct, and report on the findings of, full impact assessments in all areas of NAMA, including sensitive areas such as fisheries and forests?



Tabled: 14.10.2005


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