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With the third trilogue meeting taking place today, there is wide agreement among the Commission, the Parliament and the Council that trade secrets should not always be protected from disclosure. However, the texts of all three EU institutions have failed to ensure that the directive's scope is limited to commercial practices, as foreseen in Article 39 of the TRIPS Agreement. In addition, the Commission’s proposal and the Council’s General Approach contain too much uncertainty surrounding the situations in which business secrets can be acquired and
disclosed without the risk of being sued for compensatory damages. Such uncertainty will prevent the disclosure of information unduly qualified as trade secrets, such as information on the impact of products and production processes on public health and the environment that should be in the public domain, by journalists, whistleblowers, worker representatives and public authorities. This goes against the best interests of EU citizens, does nothing to promote the competitiveness of EU businesses and defies the logic of EU harmonisation.