The European Commission has today formally submitted a new proposal to the US for a chapter on investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the TTIP agreement. The issue had been excluded from the negotiations for 18 months in the context of a public consultation on ISDS in reaction to public opinion becoming more and more negative towards ISDS.
MEP Helmut Scholz, coordinator of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, reacted to the publication of the text: “The Commission did not understand that the public does not want to see a treaty creating a system of legal privileges for foreign investors to protect their profits.” He explained: “The new proposal has a new name – investment court system – but essentially it continues to give foreign investors more rights than to any ordinary citizen or to domestic investors. Where is the public interest in having an ISDS system?”
“Our existing courts are a lot more qualified to deal with conflicts of interest between an investor and the public than a tribunal of specialised investment lawyers,” he continued. “In this system, arbitrators – now called judges – can easily make two million dollars in an arbitration case. These professionals have an own financial interest in the number and the results of cases. Based on an analysis of the number of cases of US companies against Canada under NAFTA, experts calculate that there will be more than 200 cases against EU governments over the next 20 years, if TTIP is concluded with ISDS.”
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Nikki Sullings + 32 483 03 55 75