MEP tours the farcical viewing conditions for the TTIP text

On Monday, Greenpeace leaked the highly confidential negotiating drafts of the TTIP, a top-secret, big-business-friendly trade agreement between the USA and the EU.

The leak was significant because the drafts have been kept secret from elected Members of the European Parliament (though bureaucrats in the European Commission and EU business leaders have had access to them).

The finished TTIP documents are now available, in theory, for MEPs to see. MEP Luke "Ming" Flanagan, independent Irish MEP, video-recorded the farcical circumstances under which MEPs are allowed to view the documents -- documents which will determine the legislative future of the EU for decades to come.

MEPs are made to relinquish their phones and other electronics, and are supplied with pens and paper, but are forbidden from writing down any verbatim quotations from the documents -- on pain of all future Parliamentary scrutiny of the TTIP being cut off.

The EU establishment calls this "scrutiny" of the documents, but as they cannot be published, debated, or, indeed, altered, it's a pretty thin kind of scrutiny.

If this sounds familiar, it should. This rigmarole is nearly identical to the procedures imposed on Senators and Congress members in the USA who wanted to view the TPP documents. The major difference is that US legislators were threatened with prison if they divulged the text of the TPP documents, while MEPs were merely threatened with being denied all future access.

The European Commission has ordered Flanagan to remove his video. He has refused. I uploaded a copy to Youtube for safekeeping.

Notable Replies

  1. 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?

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

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

  4. 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?

  5. Chaz1 says:

    “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

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