Early last week, European Commissioner in charge of international trade Cecilia Malmstroem met with the US Trade Representative Michael Froman. One of the points of their agenda was to unblock talks on investment protection clauses in TTIP. The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) is a toxic expression in Europe, Malmstroem stated. Both parties, the EU and the US, want the future mega-treaty to include investment protection, but the Commission is facing strong opposition from NGOs, the general public, certain member states and MEPs – making the prospects for TTIP weak. That is why the EC has been working on alternatives for ISDS. Commissioner Malmstroem said that a future-proof system should be established. A system of permanent arbitration courts with qualified judges and an appeals mechanism, this seems to be the idea the Commission is working on. Although the issue started as a TTIP-specific problem, the Commission tries to apply a holistic approach and lead the way for a global revision of ISDS sometime in the future.
2nd May 2018