The text of the controversial Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment (TTIP) is to be held in a guarded reading room in Brussels so as not to have core elements leaked in advance of the final negotations between Brussels and Washington D.C.
The news comes after the Wikileaks organisation offered €100,000 to anyone who is willing to leak the text of the legislation.
European Union critics will note that TTIP was sold under the guise of transparency and democracy, but has not yet been seen by the outside world.
Last month, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström blamed the U.S. government for the secrecy surrounding TTIP, but it appears that Brussels bureaucrats are up to the same tricks.
CorrectIV reports that a spokesman for the Malmström said: “This is not a step backwards for transparency in TTIP. We just do not want our negotiating position is weakened if confidential negotiating papers penetrate to the outside.”
German parliamentarian Klaus Ernst remarked: “It should be understood that MEPs may view all documents. The EU Transparency PR is, against this background, just ridiculous.”
A similar situation occurred in the United States recently, where the Trans-Pacific Partnership legislation was held in the basement of the Capitol building, in a secure, soundproof room.
Rep Jeff Duncan blew the lid open in a piece for Breitbart News last month, stating: “What is in this agreement known as TPP? I, as a United States Congressman, can read the negotiations.
“However, in order to read them, I must be in a classified reading room in the Capitol, sign a non-disclosure agreement which assures that I will not discuss the contents of what I have read, and I am allowed to take notes, but I have to leave them in the room.”
Last month the EU blamed the Americans for the lack of transparency, with Cecilia Malmström stating: “The Americans have a different tradition: they involve a very large group of about 5,000 people, [who have] received the documents. They will not be published. It is not in my power to publish US documents.”