David Martin MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament and one of the six MEPs representing Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg

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David Martin MEP calls on the European Commission to adequately address ISDS concerns

David Martin has called on the European Commission to come up with alternatives to the inclusion of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Reacting today (13 January) to the publication of the results of the Commission’s public consultation on the controversial ISDS in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Mr Martin has expressed his disappointment that after launching a civil society consultation process on ISDS, to which over 150,000 stakeholders replied, adequate solutions have not yet been provided to the shortfalls it identified.

“Labour MEPs are open to looking at real improvements,” stressed Mr Martin, “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."
The Commission has acknowledged major concerns regarding its proposals for ISDS in the framework of TTIP, the EU-US free trade deal currently being negotiated and its plan to reform the EU's ISDS model, however this has been without any commitment on a timetable or policy process.

“This announcement will not address the considerable concerns raised by the thousands of constituents I have been listening to. The Commission has been clearly presented with citizens' concerns and considering the scale of the public response, we rightly expected more from them” said Mr Martin.

“This is not a Commission listening to the European public or providing adequate solutions."
 

Notes:
 1. The European Commission today adopted its response to the public consultation conducted over the summer on the inclusion of an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
 2. ISDS is an arbitration mechanism that allows foreign investors to claim for compensation from governments in cases of expropriation or unfair treatment. With 150,000 responses, the consultation has generated significant public interest and demonstrated the scale of public concern about ISDS.
 3. There has been a recent surge in cases launched by multinational corporations against sovereign states using ISDS clauses in a number of trade deals, some of which were clearly aimed at limiting the ability of governments across the world to implement important legislation such as on labour rights (eg. Veolia vs. Egypt) or public health (Philip Morris Asia vs. Australia). This has led to an unprecedented mobilisation of trade unions, civil society and citizens across Europe to oppose the inclusion of such a mechanism in TTIP.

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