”No absolute openness on ACTA,” says Commissioner Neelie Kroes in an article in Dutch. If this is indeed the official position of the Commission, it is very alarming.
Article 218 of the Lisbon Treaty (TFEU) says that when it comes to international negotiations,
10. The European Parliament shall be immediately and fully informed at all stages of the procedure.
What part of that sentence does the Commission find hard to understand?
Together with eight other members of the Green Group in the European Parliament, I have co-signed a written question to the Commission (pdf):
Statements by vice-President Neelie Kroes of the Commission concerning the negotiations on the ACTA agreement
In a Dutch newspaper interview the vice-President of the Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes stated that the European Commission should not give response to the demand of Parliament for full transparency and openness concerning the negotiations on the ACTA agreement.
- Does the Commission concur with the statement, rendered by her vice-President, not to give response to Parliament’s demand of full transparency and openness concerning the negotiations on the ACTA agreement?
- Does the Commission concur with the view, of her vice-President, that certain information should remain undisclosed for Parliament?
- Is the Commission aware of the fact that the aforementioned statement de facto implies that the Commission has to set aside its statutory obligation to inform Parliament fully, immediately and at all times, as promulgated in article 218 paragraph 10 TFEU?
- Is the Commission furthermore aware that the aforementioned statement is in clear contradiction with the joint resolution ”on the transparency and state of play of the ACTA negotiations” adopted almost unanimously by Parliament.
- Will the Commission issue a statement indicating its stance on transparency and openness relating to its (future) conduct in regard to the negotiations on the ACTA agreement? And if so, will this imply that the earlier differing opinions and statements rendered by her Commissioners should be considered as revoked?
These are very sharp questions, and they are meant to be. It will be very interesting to see what the Commission answers.