EU to be sued over maintaining secrecy in trade talks with India


As Reuters reports here, EU is being sued over  secrecy as it has withheld documents on free trade talks with India. The WSJ blog reported that Corporate Europe Observatory, a left-wing advocacy group backed by Quaker organizations, said it was suing the European Commission for refusing to release details of its negotiating position in ongoing free trade talks with India. The letter published by CEOb is available on the WSJ blog link. I was unable to link it here.
Apparently, the case concerns 17 documents, including meeting reports, emails and a letter, which the Commission sent to industry lobby groups including Business Europe, the EU’s main industry lobby and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Despite having repeatedly been approached, the EC has allegedly refused to release the documents in question fully to CEOb. The Commission claims that the censored information is sensitive, as it concerns the EU’s priorities and strategies in the ongoing trade negotiations with India. It argues disclosing this information would undermine the EU’s international relations.
 EU-India trade negotiations has attracted significant protests from EU, India and Kenya. There is a fear that if the talk succeeds, it will limit India’s production of cheap generic HIV and anti-malarial drugs.
According to Reuters,the Commission has cited the protection of international relations in its refusal to reveal details of meetings between EU officials and representatives of European pharmaceuticals companies including Sanofi-Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline.
We will update you on this as soon as we hear something more!

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