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Carthy raises TTIP Transparency with European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly

3 December, 2014 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Speaking at the European Parliament’s Petition Committee held in Brussels on Tuesday during which Ireland’s Emily O’Reilly engaged in a hearing with members in advance of her reappointment as European Ombudsman, Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy said the lack of transparency surrounding the TTIP negotiations needs to be addressed.

Carthy said:

“I would like commend Emily O’Reilly on her work as European Ombudsman to date and look forward to voting for her reappointment. That she is unopposed for the role is testament to the hard work and dedication she has demonstrated and I wish her well in the coming term.

“I took the opportunity at the Petition Committee hearing to raise questions surrounding the lack of transparency in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating process, which her office is currently investigating.

“The fact that Ms O’Reilly confirmed that her office has received over 300 submissions as part of the investigation demonstrates the high level of concern there is around the ongoing lack of transparency surrounding the TTIP negotiations.

“I welcome the confirmation that the European Ombudsman has received a response from the European Commission on the matter and she intends to publish a report in January on the findings of her investigation.

“I also welcome her assertion today that the European Commission should take very serious consideration of the petition in opposition to the controversial ISDS mechanism in the event that it achieves 1 million signatures, as it is expected to do in the very near future.

“The petition has been organised by civil society groups across Europe and achieved 850,000 signatures in just one month. It is in response to the refusal of the European Commission to allow a Citizen’s Initiative on the matter to proceed – a refusal that is now the subject of court action in the European Court of Justice.

“I warmly welcome the ongoing scrutiny of the Office of the European Ombudsman on these matters and, while I recognise that the power of the Ombudsman to direct the European Commission is limited, nevertheless her role is vital in achieving the transparency and accountability required to ensure that the evident lack of democracy within the EU on these matters is challenged.”

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