MEP tours the farcical viewing conditions for the TTIP text


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I still don’t see how this kind of bullshit can be viewed as even remotely legal. How can something be turned into law without even the elected lawmakers being allowed to see it?

What next? Are we going to get special Star Chambers to enforce the TTIP?


Blinding Democracy is a small price for nations to pay to expand and protect revenue streams for Corporate Citizens.


Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. The profits of the .01% are good for the rest of us.


Maybe I’m dense, but who exactly is threatening (and has the authority) to remove access (and imprison) legislators for looking at a bill?


Oh, it’s not being turned into law yet.
The text will be made available before the treaty is ratified (there might not be enough time between the publication and the ratification, though).

The idea seems to be to create a treaty made up of “good parts” and “bad parts”. And then people get to vote on the finished product. And they’ll make sure that in the limited time available, the treaty will look slightly better than no treaty at all.
If you put 100 seemingly good things in, you get to include 99 absolutely bad things for free.

And that’s why they keep the negotiations secret.

It’s not a bill. It is currently a classified document detailing the current state of negotiations between the US government and the EU commission. So I guess legally, it’s like any other secret government document.

Question: How, and other what conditions, does a US congressman or senator get to view the current draft treaty text?


I’m not sure how it works legally on the EU level but normally negotiation papers of international treaties are state secrets. The EU commision is similar to the government of countries and the definition of state secrets is one core function of the executive.


Yes, but how is it that state secrets that are too secret for our elected representatives to have access to are fine and dandy to give business executives unfettered access to? Since when did business executives have higher government authority than our Federal elected representatives - legally, that is?


it’s not uncommon in European law traditions that some parts of the executive work can be hidden from the legislative. I don’t know if this is different in other systems like the US.


In related news: The police closed down Greenpeace’ TTIP reading room in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

I can understand the reasoning: Greenpeace had no permit to place a container on the square (probably politically a stupid move, but this is not the job of the public order authority to decide).

eta: Reuters has a few images of the reading room, international press coverage was otherwise nearly nil.


Yanis Varoufakis on EU ‘democracy’. Like Gandhi’s comment about Western civilization, he thinks it would be a good idea.

From his Feb 5th editorial/commentary in The Guardian:
“One simple, radical idea is our motivating force: to democratise the EU in the knowledge that it will otherwise disintegrate at a terrible cost to all. Our immediate priority is full transparency in decision-making (live-streaming of European councils, Ecofin and Eurogroup meetings; full disclosure of trade negotiations; ECB minutes, etc) and the urgent redeployment of existing EU institutions in the pursuit of policies that genuinely address the crises of debt, banking, inadequate investment, rising poverty and migration.”

Edited to add: One assertion I made months ago here about the ‘bailout’-loans has been shown to be correct..


So secret it MUST be good!

  • The recipe for Coca Cola is secret, and Coca Cola tastes wonderful! It follows that TTIP must taste fantastic!

  • Perhaps Coca Cola could take inspiration from the TTIP process and have a viewing room where their recipe can be glimpsed and copied out using pen and paper on the condition that the copy is an inaccurate gist of the real recipe


Good on MEP Flanagan for making that vid.


It’s interesting that the people that are working on this and who will vote on it condone this, if not actively, then by accepting and playing along.

I would like to see them flat out refuse, and simply state that the vote will be an automatic NO with no consideration until such time as the documents are made public and freely available.


Yep, and the minute it is published there’s going to be plenty of scrutiny about whether it is compatible with EU human rights, I’d guess articles 8 & 10, privacy & freedom of expression would be potential areas of interest.


I’m glad he showed up for work finally. He has one of the lowest attendance rates in the entire European Parliament.


This doesn’t get counted as work according to the EU: it’s serving his constituency. He should get down with providing a fig leaf of democracy for the Council. That’s his “job”.


I’m glad he showed up for work finally. He has one of the lowest attendance rates in the entire European Parliament.

Nice try at attacking the messenger, but that weak line of attack doesn’t generally go over well here.


“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy