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ClientEarth Communications

18th March 2016

Rule of law
Access to Justice for a Greener Europe

Trade secrets law shows EU favours business over democracy

The EU’s new Trade Secrets Directive is almost law. The rules it contains, and the decisions which created its final form, show the EU is increasingly pursuing economic growth and competitiveness at the expense of democracy.

The principles of freedom of information, transparency and accountability are undermined by the Trade Secrets Directive, which has huge potential impact on public access to environmental information and the courts.

We have taken a detailed look at the law’s inception and drafting, its main provisions and passage through the legislative process. The Trade Secrets Directive will affect not just public access to information. It also has far-reaching impacts for worker mobility and freedom of the press.

As detailed in our previous blogs, the directive threatens public access to information by giving industry the means to sue and receive compensatory damages from public authorities, journalists and whistleblowers who reveal business-related information in the public interest.