Answering criticism that trade talks can seem like closed-door deals, the European Commission has published draft mandates for bilateral trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand.
From now on, the Commission has decided to publish all its recommendations for negotiating directives for trade agreements (also known as negotiating mandates). Not only will the European Parliament and Council see the draft mandates – they will be sent automatically to national Parliaments, and the general public will also be able to view the documents.
That will open debate to all walks of society from the start, making trade discussions far more inclusive. To do that, the Commission asks Member States to include national and regional voices in trade talks as early as possible.