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EU-US TTIP negotiations/ISDS

Commission PR drive cannot mask problems with controversial investor dispute mechanism

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EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström attended the European Parliament's trade committee today to present the conclusions of the EU Commission on the role of the controversial investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) in the context of the EU-US TTIP trade negotiations. The meeting was part of the follow-up to the Commission's public consultation on ISDS. Commenting on the meeting, Greens/EFA trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot said:

"The Commission is continuing to keep its head in the sand on ISDS. Despite the long list of concerns and the understandable public opposition, the Commission wants to continue to allow corporations to use extra-juridical tribunals to challenge state authorities: this is wrong. Changing the name of the mechanism but keeping the same prerogatives for corporations would be little more than a cheap PR stunt, ignoring the core of the problem.

"Clearly, the right of legislators to legislate and regulate must be absolute in a democratic jurisdiction but the Commission fails to reassure those concerned about the impact of ISDS on this. There is no justifiable reason to replace judges with private arbitrators nor offer extra-constitutional rights to powerful foreign investors around the world. The alternatives that exist are adequate options should investors prefer greater guarantees for their investments. In short, the Commission needs to consign ISDS to the history of EU trade policy and exclude it from TTIP."