Today, the Council of the EU published the negotiating directives for a plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement or TiSA.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström commented: 'I am glad that EU governments have agreed with my proposal to make the TiSA negotiating mandate public. This is yet another step in our commitment to improve transparency in EU trade negotiations. Citizens will be able to see for themselves that in the TiSA negotiations, the EU protects public services, preserves the right to regulate at all levels of government and ensures that we can maintain the highest standards. This agreement is important for all of us because the EU is the world's largest exporter of services with tens of millions of jobs in the sector throughout Europe. We aim at making it easier for EU firms to export services which will contribute to growth and jobs here in the EU.'
In the specific case of TiSA, the European Commission has concluded that the publication of the mandate does not undermine the EU's negotiating position and does not harm its interests with regard to our international relations. On the contrary, Commissioner Malmström called for the publication of the mandate noting that the publication fits into the WTO framework for transparency and confirms the EU's position to integrate TiSA into the WTO multilateral system.
The European Commission is negotiating the agreement on the basis of negotiating directives issued by the Council in March 2013. It informs and consults governments, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and civil society throughout the process. Important negotiation documents, including the EU negotiating offer, have been published on the dedicated website.
The talks started formally in March 2013 and 11 rounds of negotiations have taken place so far. TiSA is currently being negotiated by 24 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including the EU. Together, these countries account for 70% of world trade in services.
Read the text of the negotiating mandate: http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6891-2013-ADD-1-DCL-1/en/pdf
Commissioner Malmström's letter requesting the publication of the mandate: http://ec.europa.eu/carol/?fuseaction=download&documentId=090166e59c73127c&title=CM_signed.pdf
More information at the European Commission website dedicated to TiSA: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/tisa/questions-and-answers/