Question to the Commission for written answer
Can the Commission please provide details of the Investor-State Dispute Mechanisms included in the proposed TTIP agreement with the USA?
Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission (28.8.2014)
A public consultation was launched on investment protection and investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP). This consultation was closed on 13 July 2014 and the Commission will first evaluate the results of this consultation before any negotiations with the US on ISDS in TTIP. No concrete text proposals on ISDS have been exchanged between the negotiating teams.
However, the EU has already developed a practice in ISDS. ISDS is a mean of enforcing the limited investment protection standards included in an international agreement. These protect against discrimination, expropriation without compensation and unfair or inequitable treatment. These do not permit an investor to sue simply because a measure is disliked. The Commission’s approach to ISDS in general is based on the principles of a modern state-of-the art Investor-to-State dispute settlement as described in the Commission’s Communication1. It would include in particular the following elements: full transparency of documents and hearings based on UN-agreed transparency rules2; rules on ethics and possible conflicts of interest of ISDS arbitrators (i.e. a binding Code of Conduct for the arbitrators and use of a roster for the choice of the arbitrators), rules to ensure the coherence of ISDS case-law and rules which will avoid parallel proceedings and frivolous claims.
1 COM(2010)343 final “Towards a comprehensive European international investment policy”,7.7.2010