Article 218(10) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) stipulates that the European Parliament must be kept informed at all stages of negotiations on international agreements. Moreover, trade agreements fall within the broad category of international agreements which cannot be adopted without the EP’s consent.
In keeping with Annex II of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission, confidential documents are forwarded by the Commission to Parliament. As regards TTIP, the following documents have been made available by the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: (i) EU proposals on the legal form TTIP should take; (ii) EU position papers setting out the EU’s general (political) position on a given aspect of the negotiations; (iii) other EU documents, such as drafts, studies and other papers, used in the negotiations.
Until December 2015, only a few selected Members and officials had access to the consolidated negotiating documents: the chair and vice-chairs of the INTA Committee, the political group coordinators on the INTA Committee, and the rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs. In specific cases, the chairs and rapporteurs of the other committees represented on the INTA US Monitoring Group could consult the consolidated negotiating documents. Since December 2015, this group has been expanded to include all MEPs.