Consumers demand greater transparency in TiSA
As the 18th round of negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) opens tomorrow, consumer organisations are making an urgent call for greater transparency.
If agreed, TiSA will impact directly on consumers’ daily lives through changes to services such as telecommunications, e-commerce, financial services and transportation.
The negotiations are set to run until 3 June, with a ministerial meeting taking place on 1 June in Paris. The lack of public information about the TiSA negotiations to date has created widespread concern amongst consumer advocates and other NGOs.
In a statement published today Consumers International (CI) is calling on negotiators to ensure greater transparency by allowing stakeholders access to relevant information including disclosure of the draft text of the agreement and annexes; to ensure that national frameworks of consumer rights are respected; and for governments to retain their right to maintain a high level of consumer protection.
The statement, issued in coordination with BEUC, also appeals to negotiators to reject provisions that unduly obstruct or influence the development of consumer protection by national bodies.
In reaction to the WikiLeaks leak today, Amanda Long, CI's Director General said:
“Consumer organisations shouldn't have to rely on leaks to find out about negotiations that will have a major impact on consumers’ lives. Without greater transparency, the negotiations can’t be exposed to the scrutiny needed to design a good agreement and build public trust, this must be a priority."
Read CI's full statement here.