Transparency is a cornerstone of a modern democracy. It lowers risks of corruption and increases public trust and confidence. I have been working with issues of transparency throughout my political career, and I raised it as a core value in the EU's Trade For All Strategy last year, with the intention of rendering European trade policy more transparent across the board.
Concretely, the commitments of the Trade for All strategy mean that we will be publishing as many documents as we possibly can concerning our ongoing and future trade negotiations - not only when it comes to TTIP. This week, we continue to honour our word by increasing openness and simplifying the processes of our trade defence instruments. This may not be of particular interest to the average citizen, but those concerned should have more access to information around the procedures.
Take the ongoing steel crisis as an example. We need greater engagement and communication between those affected, particularly smaller companies that often struggle with unfair dumping. We want to improve the two-way flow of information, and we hope for continued contributions to help us in the handling of the legitimate concerns of the steel sector. Throughout these processes, we will publish a summarising document to provide background information concerning every request received by the Commission to initiate an investigation or to review anti-dumping measures. The objective is to make information on initiated investigations available to the public, and to give parties concerned a chance to contribute. We will also provide a new internet platform to facilitate communication between different actors. This is particularly important for those smaller enterprises with limited resources to engage in complex proceedings.