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  • A majority of Europeans oppose the inclusion of investor protection clauses in the TTIP agreement.

    A majority of Europeans oppose the inclusion of investor protection clauses in the TTIP agreement. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 January 2015

The European Commission published its analysis of the almost 150,000 replies to its online consultation on investment protection provisions. 

Nearly 88 percent of Europeans who responded to an online public consultation on a free trade agreement between the EU and the United States reject measures that allow corporations to sue governments, a report said Tuesday.

The findings are part of a report released by the European Commission, which examines the results from a large-scale public consultation on whether to include a provision in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement on investment protection provisions and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms. 

The European Commission launched the public consultation last year, citing widespread concern about the inclusion of an ISDS mechanism as its primary reason for holding the public consultation. 

The Commission's report provides a detailed analysis of all the replies on the issue of whether the EU's proposed approach for TTIP would achieve the right balance between protecting investors and safeguarding the EU's right and ability to regulate in the public interest.

The planned investment protection provisions would allow corporations to file legal claims against a country in an international arbitration court and provide them with the right to demand compensation for government actions that effect corporate profits.  

In response to the findings from the report, trade campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe Paul de Clerck stated, “With this consultation, the European Commission said it wanted to ask the public what they want. People have clearly spoken against excessive privileges for corporations. Investor-state arbitration is undemocratic and conflicts with the fundamental principle of fair access to justice – it should not be part of the EU-U.S. trade deal, nor any other trade agreement.” 

A poll carried out last September by the Pew Research Foundation found that that citizens in the United States, Japan, France and Italy are the most skeptical about the benefits of increasing international trade when compared to other nations participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and TTIP.

If approved, the trade deal would be the largest bilateral free trade pact ever, affecting 40 percent of the global economy.


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