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Transparency in EU trade policy: 2022 statistics for DG TRADE

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade (DG TRADE) continues to attach great importance to transparency and public access to documents. The following statistics provide an indication of the resources and efforts put into this in 2022.

Trade topics
  • Negotiations and agreements
  • Trade policy

Access to Documents

In 2022, DG TRADE:

  • handled a total of 287 requests for Access to Documents, and;
  • The largest number of requests was categorised as originating from citizens (about 48%), followed by academic institutions (16%), journalists (12%), law firms (12%), companies (6%), and NGOs (6%).

In 83% of the cases, DG TRADE granted full or partial access to the documents concerned (partial access means certain content needed to be redacted to protect personal data or due to the application of relevant exceptions to protect, for example, the EU’s international relations or commercially sensitive information). Only in 6% of replies were the documents withheld based on exceptions in the Regulation. 11% of the cases were closed for other reasons (of a different nature: e.g. in cases where the scope of the request did not fall under the remit of DG TRADE, or where the request was in fact not an application for Access to Documents, but a request for information, requiring handling under a different type of procedure). 

Proactive transparency

In 2022 DG TRADE proactively published:

  • information on meetings of committees and dialogues set up in the framework of EU trade agreements;
  • negotiation round reports (covering all ongoing negotiations with third countries including New Zealand, Australia, Angola, etc.);
  • information on meetings of trade-related Expert Groups;
  • all Commission decisions on Member States’ Bilateral Investment Treaties, and;
  • non-sensitive summary records of the Trade Defence Instruments committee;

In addition, DG TRADE

  • organised 16 Civil Society Dialogue meetings and other events with stakeholders to provide updates on ongoing individual negotiations and the EU's overall trade agenda, and;
  • replied to more than 200 questions forwarded by the Europe Direct Contact Centre (EDCC). Overall, the EDCC received and handled more than 1,500 trade-related questions received from all parts of society (citizens, academics, students, etc.).

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