TTIP: European investor protection a priority

The EPP Group takes note of the results of the public consultation on investment protection and investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) announced today by the European Commission. The Chairwoman of the EPP Working Group on the TTIP, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl MEP, and the EPP Group’s Spokesman in the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee, Daniel Caspary MEP, made the following comments:

“We welcome the final report and congratulate the European Commission on the successful accomplishment of this huge logistical effort on the biggest public consultation ever. We call now for rapid and sound action by the Commission to convert the results into concrete measures for the ongoing negotiations and standard EU-bilateral Investment Treaties texts. Our goal must be to find the right balance between protecting investors and safeguarding the EU’s right and ability to regulate.”

“The EPP Group is in favour of an effective ISDS system that will protect our European investors by implementing a well-balanced approach to TTIP, providing for better transparency and clearer definitions/wording on the basis of the CETA (EU-Canada trade agreement) text. We therefore await the Commission’s conclusions and want to discuss them instead of refusing them outright as the S&D Group and the Greens do. Their reaction is a false ideological one that leads to impasse and fear, and produces no alternative to meet the need to regulate global investment.”

“One cannot reject a clause without checking all the consequences of such a decision. For example, there are no clear indications on how to ensure the non-discrimination of EU investors in the US market. We have studied this issue with the Commission and do not have any indication that this can be achieved without ISDS. Therefore what we need to work on is whether there is a valid alternative to ISDS as a legal mechanism. If not, we should work for a reformed ISDS mechanism that can serve as a reference for the next investment agreements.”

“It is irresponsible to deny and oppose globalisation and the consequences it has on global trade and investment. Europe’s success in a multipolar world – that we would like to be competitive and fair – depends on clear, efficient, predictable legal mechanisms. Europe needs to attract investors and investment and European economic actors need legal certainty to operate globally.”