Press release: TiSA negotiations: the European Parliament’s strong position

By EDRi · February 4, 2016

On 3 February 2016, the European Parliament gave its opinion to the European Commission on what to do and what not to do with regard to the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). The European Commission is in charge of conducting the negotiations on behalf of the European Union. At the end of the negotiation process, the European Parliament only gets to give a final “yes” or “no” to trade agreements. Therefore, the European Parliament usually states its opinion and recommendations on trade agreements via non-legislative resolutions. In principle, this allows European Commission negotiators to know what elements of a deal would be likely to lead to rejection.

We are pleased that, on a broad range of digital issues, the European Parliament is in line with EDRi’s position on TiSA. As the various leaks show, the European Commission’s views differ from those of the European Parliament in some key aspects.

said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights.

These Parliament’s recommendations have been adopted at a right time, as the Commission is currently negotiating with the other 22 Parties to TiSA on some sensitive issues. EDRi welcomes and highlights the Parliament’s recommendations on:

  • transparency of the negotiations;
  • data protection in the context of data flows and the often confused issue of “data localisation”;
  • national security exceptions;
  • net neutrality and
  • net competition.

The European Parliament followed the recommendations of the International Trade Committee (INTA) and barely changed its proposed report. Some amendments passed, adding some points, such as the need for a mechanism to suspend or reverse commitments.

As EDRi welcomes the Parliament’s recommendations on TiSA and urges the European Commission to respect it fully, or risk rejection of the entire deal, once it is completed.

Read more:

TiSA resolution: what are you going to do about it? (3.02.2016)

TiSA: European Parliament ready to defend digital rights? (27.01.2016)

EDRi’s position paper on TiSA

TiSA resolution: document pool