By Maryant Fernández Pérez

On 18 January 2016, the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee (INTA) adopted a non-legislative report, that will be subject to a vote by the whole Parliament on 3 February 2015.

Similar to TTIP, harsh criticism has been expressed on the nature and content of the TiSA negotiations. While the INTA committee remained silent about certain points of concern for digital rights, such as access to open source code, INTA’s report on TiSA complies with EDRi’s position on TiSA.

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In relation to transparency, the INTA committee asked the European Commission to ensure the “highest level of transparency” and bring negotiations in line with the recommendations of the European Ombudsman on TTIP.

In terms of content, EDRi highlights three recommendations:

First, it is outstanding that the report rightly emphasises the need to meaningfully respect the right to regulate.TiSA is being negotiated formally since March 2013 by 23 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The European Union, as one of those members, is being represented by the European Commission. However, the European Parliament’s approval is required for the agreement to enter into force. Before reaching that stage, the European Parliament usually states its opinion and recommendations on trade agreements via non-legislative resolutions. 3 February will be the second time the Parliament adopts a position on TiSA.

Secondly, EDRi welcomes the INTA’s approach vis-à-vis data protection as a fundamental right. For example, the report asks for a strong horizontal exception on data protection “without any condition that it must be consistent with other parts of the TiSA”. Likewise, INTA did not confuse local data storage requirements for specific purposes, such as data protection, which is in compliance with EU law, with forced “data localisation”. Fortunately, INTA asks the Commission to ban the latter and not the former.

Thirdly, the report recognises that net neutrality (and the “open Internet”) must be safeguarded.

TiSA is being negotiated formally since March 2013 by 23 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The European Union, as one of those members, is being represented by the European Commission. However, the European Parliament’s approval is required for the agreement to enter into force. Before reaching that stage, the European Parliament usually states its opinion and recommendations on trade agreements via non-legislative resolutions. 3 February will be the second time the Parliament adopts a position on TiSA.

EDRi position on TiSA (January 2016)
https://edri.org/files/TiSA_Position_Jan2016e.pdf

INTA Report on European Parliament’s recommendations on TiSA (25.01.2016)
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fNONSGML%2bREPORT%2bA8-2016-0009%2b0%2bDOC%2bPDF%2bV0%2f%2fEN

TiSA Resolution: document pool (07.12.2015)
https://edri.org/tisa-resolution-document-pool/

European Ombudsman does not see sufficient transparency in TTIP (14.01.2015)
https://edri.org/european-ombudsman-does-not-see-sufficient-transparency-in-ttip/

(Contribution of Maryant Fernández, EDRi)

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