TTIP transparency 'farce' as Germany opens MP reading room

31 January 2016 - 9:15am
Press release

German MPs will be granted restricted access to documents from secret EU-US trade negotiations as of 1 February, with the opening of a Berlin reading room for consolidated texts of the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Access to the documents will only be possible under supervision in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, with all use of cameras or mobile phones prohibited and only limited note-taking allowed. Germany's Minister for Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, has confirmed that any MP caught breaking the rules will face disciplinary proceedings. 

John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, said: "It is laughable to suggest that TTIP negotiations are in any sense transparent or legitimate. MPs are expressly forbidden from sharing any information with the general public, despite the fact that it is our rights that are being traded away behind closed doors. TTIP makes a mockery of democracy, and no amount of government propaganda can hide that. The farce goes on."

Even the official German government video launching the reading room acknowledges the irony of allowing the media to take photographs of a room where all cameras will be banned from now on.

The video includes views of the reading room with a photographic guide to the key elements in it, reproduced below.

Starting in the top left corner and moving clockwise, the signs translate as follows: Lockers (for mobile phones etc) - Reference library (reference works) - Work stations (maximum 8 people) - Digital documents (negotiating language: English) - Supervisor (official of Ministry for Economic Affairs) - Computer (not networked) - Confidentiality agreement (must be signed before use).

NOTES TO EDITORS

War on Want's new report, Rough Trade: The threat of TTIP to small businesses in the UK, is available here.

John Hilary is available for interview or comment on +44 7983 550727.

Latest news

War on Want at the Latin America Conference 2017

16 November 2017 - 12:30pm

Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Time:  9.15am - 5pm (War on Want event, 10.45am to 11.45am)

Location: Congress House, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS. 

Tickets: https://latinamericaconference.wordpress.com (£10 for waged, £8 unwaged)

 

Read more

Watch videos of "Paradises of the Earth" Web Documentary - Tunisia

13 November 2017 - 12:15pm

First Episode - Gabes: Watch now!

This episode follows an international solidarity caravan to the first stop of the trip: the mediterranean oasis of Gabes in southern #Tunisia, where the installation of a chemical phosphate factory on its shores caused an ecocide deeply impacting fishing, agriculture, water resources and people's livelihoods.

Read more

Join the conversation

#ISDS corporate courts should not be able to trump public law, #CETA could bind government for 20 years, says… https://t.co/f7feRjDaHa 43 min 26 sec ago
We urgently need trade transparency: “Trade affects every area of our lives - that’s why this campaign is so import… https://t.co/OCV3EOaDbD 53 min 46 sec ago
.@BarryGardiner thanks @WarOnWant, @TradeJusticeMov, @GlobalJusticeUK - says #trade deals must be subject to rigoro… https://t.co/0dmNUcUa70 1 hour 1 min ago