TTIP-Unfairhandelbar – Campact – PowerShift
Investment protection in TTIP: the European Commission refuses to change the system
The European Commission’s proposals from 12th November 2015: half-hearted reforms aimed
at justifying the massive expansion of global investment protection
Berlin, 2 October 2015. The European Commission’s new proposal for an ‘investment court’ has been unable to diminish the wide-ranging public criticism of the investment protection mechanism envisaged in TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). The reason is simple: the Commission’s proposal remains firmly committed to providing foreign investors with the highly controversial right to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). This mechanism allows investors to sue a state for implementing measures (aimed at e.g. health, environmental and consumer protection and policies to end financial and economic crises) if these measures are perceived as threatening corporate interests. ISDS decisions are made by international tribunals, and they can result in countries having to pay horrendous levels of compensation to corporations. Providing investors with the right to sue for compensation through TTIP will significantly expand the global reach of ISDS and mean that states are likely to face many more of these cases. Clearly then, these corporate rights come at the expense of the public interest on both sides of the North Atlantic.
In contrast, a lengthy European debate on reform in this context led the European Parliament (EP) to call for a ‘new system’ of dispute settlement that conforms to democratic and constitutional standards.
Also, the EP is against providing foreign investors with ‘greater rights than domestic investors’. Nevertheless, the draft chapter on investment protection in TTIP, which was proposed by Trade Commissioner Malmström, demonstrates that the European Commission is still unwilling to implement such a fundamental reform of investment protection.
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