Last Thursday, MEPs in the International Trade Committee voted on a report on TTIP. Although the report is not binding for the Commission, which negotiates with the US on behalf of the EU, it is an important indication for the EU executive – the EP will have to pass the final deal. After lengthy discussions on a multitude of TTIP topics, the overall result seems positive for the huge trade and investment deal. MEPs from the center-right EPP group and from the Socialists & Democrats group forged a last-minute compromise on the key issue – the controversial investor/state dispute settlement. EPP is largely pro-ISDS, while S&D is much more cautious and before the vote it seemed that it could even push for exclusion of ISDS from TTIP – which would be a deal-breaker for the US Administration for sure. Just before the vote, though, the two largest groups in the EP agreed to support a reformed ISDS, as outlined by Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem. The Commissioner proposed to work toward a permanent international ISDS tribunal, with the interim ISDS clauses in TTIP ensuring much more transparency and fairness. Smaller EP groups, mainly the Greens, were very disappointed with the outcome, having relied on the socialists´ support for their plan to scrap ISDS altogether. If the report passes through plenary, which is the expected outcome now, the TTIP negotiations are likely to receive a small, but important boost from EU´s co-legislator.
29th March 2021
21st January 2021