TTIP: Commission must come up with alternatives to ISDS, say Labour MEPs

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Labour MEPs today called on the European Commission to come up with alternatives to inclusion of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), following its response to a Europe-wide public consultation.

Though the Commission did acknowledge major concerns regarding its proposals for ISDS in the framework of TTIP, the EU-US free trade deal currently being negotiated, it did not propose an alternative mechanism to address the shortfalls it identified.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, Labour's European spokesperson on TTIP, said:

"The Commission is telling us ISDS is mortally wounded, and yet they are still agonising over the size of the plaster. Considering the scale of public concern, we rightly expected more from them.

"How can you call a quasi-judicial process that suffers from a flawed procedure, offers no possibility to appeal and limits the policy space of national governments, justified? That's the Commission's conclusion on ISDS today, and it will not address the considerable concerns raised by the thousands of constituents I have been listening to since I took office".

Labour MEPs also expressed reservations on the Commission's intent to offer solutions in a timely fashion.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP added:

"The Commission has announced its plan to reform the EU's ISDS model. However, without any commitment on a timetable or policy process, this announcement is simply not credible at all. Again, this is not the way we expect the new Commission to go about its business - this is not a Commission listening to the European public."

David Martin MEP, Socialist and Democrat Group spokesperson on international trade, said:

"The Commission has been clearly presented with citizens' concerns but it is still very slow to react. It launched a civil society consultation process on ISDS to which more than 150,000 stakeholders replied. Commissioner Malmström has rightly identified the problems of ISDS, but not yet provided adequate solutions.

"Labour MEPs are open to looking at real improvements, but so far the potential dangers outweigh the benefits of ISDS. If the Commission is not serious about a thorough reform, it would be best to withdraw ISDS altogether."

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