Many people have voiced concerns about the transparency and the public nature of the TTIP agreement. We can assure you that no other trade agreement by the EU has ever been as transparent and as open as this agreement. It is vital to to us as MEPs that everyone can part take and see what is going on in this agreement. Members of the International Trade Committee are granted full access to the documents of this agreement. All documents that should be public and that do not harm the on-going negotiations, are public.

Additionally, following pressure from MEP's, including Conservative members; the European Council has agreed to make public their negotiating mandate, a key document in these early stages of negotiations. This comes at a time when the EU Commission is  publishing the results from the Public Consultation on ISDS being included in the agreement. This was a clear demonstration by EU institutions to reach for as much transparency as possible. Over 160,000 people responded to the call for public opinion on this matter of ISDS.

In order to be as transparent as possible and due to pressure from the INTA committee, the Commission has laid out new guidelines to its administration. All meetings held by senior civil servants in the European Commission from the 1st December 2014 onwards must be published on its websites. This information must include the names, dates and locations of said meetings. Commissioner Malmstrom went even further in stating that more negotiating texts, the documents guiding negotiations, were to be published. In addition, the reading room of all the negotiation papers is to be opened up to more than just the current set of MEPs on the International Trade Committee. Furthermore, less TTIP documents will be classified with 'EU Restricted' status, making external access even easier. All these measures highlight the desire to be as upfront and as transparent as possible.

I encourage you to check out both the EU website (www.ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/) and the US website on this issue and to consult the documents found there (www.ustr.gov).