A recent report by Schöpflin Foundation and the Institut für Partizipatives Gestalten (IPG) [Institute for Participatory Design] has criticised the way free-trade agreements are negotiated. The criticisms focuses on the structure of the process; on the methods and formats used for the actual negotiations; and on the overall organisation of the procedure itself. It is clear that these failings have led to a lack of knowledge and awareness, among the political class, of how best to design the processes and procedures needed to carry out free-trade agreements.
The report outlines various options for how political processes could be made to be more inclusive, more transparent and more participative. The aim is to create both greater legitimacy and – primarily – better results. The Schöpflin Foundation and the IPG are calling for a public discussion – based on this report – on the next steps needed in Europe’s democratic evolution.