Carthy calls for more transparency as Dáil opens TTIP ‘reading room’
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has welcomed the establishment of a Dáil reading room for TDs and Senators to view documents relating to the EU-US trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), as a step in the right direction.
The development was announced this week in a letter to Ceann Comhairle Seán O Fearghail, from Fine Gael Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
Carthy added however that TTIP documents should be available to all citizens and that the continued secrecy around TTIP negotiations was a major cause of public concern.
Matt Carthy said:
“I welcome the establishment of a Dáil reading room for TDs and Senators to view documents relating to TTIP. It is as a step in the right direction. Such a facility has been in place for some time now in the EU parliament and I have attended it on several occasions.
“However, in line with the absolute lack of transparency that goes to the heart of the TTIP negotiations, MEPs are not permitted to disclose any of the information that they read to the people on whose behalf they are elected. Unfortunately the Irish government has conceded to this practice.
“Most of the information that public has gleaned regarding TTIP negotiations have been through the leaking of documents to media outlets and organisations such as GreenPeace. Each leak has proven that there are inherent dangers within this trade deal for the democratic process, for the rights of workers, for the environment and for the economic development of countries such as Ireland that our government seem intent to ignore.
“TTIP will have severe and far-reaching consequences for Ireland in the areas of food standards, public health, workers’ rights, small business and farming but public and political understanding here of what is at stake remains incredibly low. The only way to change this is to democratise the process. I encourage members of the Oirechtas to attend the reading room when the opportunity arises but we should collectively be making the demand to the EU Commission that TTIP documents should be available to all citizens.”