Publishing mandate overdue but fails to address transparency concerns
Press Release: Services trade agreement (TISA)
The EU negotiating mandate for the negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) was today published by the council of EU foreign ministers, two years after negotiations began (1). Commenting on the mandate, Greens/EFA trade spokesperson and vice-president Ska Keller said:
"While the belated transparency on the TISA negotiations is welcome, it is too little and far too late, two years into the process. The mandate itself is the tip of the iceberg: the crucial negotiating documents, which outline the concrete content of the talks, remain secret. This secrecy prevents proper democratic scrutiny of the negotiations and must be finally ended.
"The mandate only serves to underline concerns that EU member states are using the treaty to push for the unfettered liberalisation of services. There is insufficient protection for sensitive public services, like health, education and water provision. TISA cannot be used to force through the liberalisation of vital public services by the backdoor. There are also major uncertainties about the data protection and whether TISA could also undermine EU privacy rules. This must be clarified."
(1) Negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) began two years ago between the EU, US and 22 other countries.