After the publication of the video, the EU faced severe criticism regarding the extreme secrecy around the TTIP talks. It is interesting that the institutions decided to ask the MEP to take the video down rather than refute or explain the accusations. The reason given for the request towards the MEP was that the name of another MEP's associate was mentioned in the video.
— Luke 'Ming' Flanagan (@lukeming) May 4, 2016
The whole procedure, as we witness it through the video of the MEP's associate allows the MEPs to only view the documents in a special room in the European Parliament. They are not allowed to have a cell phone with them as well as no other electronic device which could be used to copy the contents of the agreement. They are only given a pencil and some paper.
They enter the room, which is then locked. The reading is done under the supervision of a “guard” who is there to make sure that the restrictions are being followed. Flanagan is seen explaining that he is expected to read the documents swiftly since any delay will cause an alarm which will make the security of the building come and see what is causing it. It should be noted that Flanagan is only looking at those parts which have already been agreed on.
Perhaps the most alarming part of the video is the part where Flanagan is requested to sign an “agreement” where he accepts that should he publicize the contents of the agreement then no MEP will have access to those documents again. The MEP's reaction is telling, these are Mafia practices, he exclaims, I am signing that I will not tell my voters what I know in detail.
The same “penalty” will be imposed on any other citizen representative in the European Parliament, should Flanagan keep “detailed notes” that is, should he copy the terms on the documents. Again according to another “contract” the Irish MEP is only allowed to keep quick, non detailed notes of the complex legal terms found on the documents. These documents which are describing the most complex, and intrusive, agreement in the world.
The bitter words of Flanagan are heard at the end of the video: “Welcome to the European Union, welcome to the heart of Europe…”
ThePressProject is participating in the effort for the detailed, unhindered flow of information regarding the TTIP. You can find our contribution in OpenProject