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European Commission responds to public concern over TTIP

16 September 2015

European Commission responds to public concern over TTIP

The European Commission has rightfully responded to people’s concerns over an element of the EU-US trade agreement, TTIP, in putting forward a blueprint for a modernised system, according to MEP Emma McClarkin.

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group’s trade spokesman welcomed the efforts by Commissioner Malmstrom to modernise the system of investment protection so that investors continue to be treated in line with government commitments under international law.

In July the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the commission to examine ways of reforming and improving investment protection mechanisms in international investment agreements.

Responding to the parliament’s call, the new system, called Investment Court System (ICS), will contain a number of novel elements including a set roster of judges that cannot act as lawyers in other investment disputes, a new appeals mechanism and an obligation for investors to terminate any national legal suit they may be bringing should they wish to use the ICS system.

Emma McClarkin said:

“There has been a great deal of scaremongering about investor protection in the EU-US trade deal, but there has also been some legitimate concern. The commission is right to address these concerns in putting forward a blueprint for a modern investor protection system.

“Investment protection is nothing new and has been successfully protecting the rights of EU investors abroad to be treated in line with government commitments under international law.

“As always with areas of legal complexity, the devil will be in the detail. I have always strongly supported the right of national governments to regulate in the interest of their people, but this must remain in line with the legal commitments and obligations they have entered into.

“The bottom line is that EU investors must be protected in the United States. The elements agreed in TTIP are likely to form a gold standard for future trade agreements, so it is essential that we work on getting this right.

“Of course, we will continue to see the usual reflex negativity and scaremongering from the old fashioned protectionist lobby, but I hope these new blueprints can help to allay some of the legitimate concerns that have been expressed, and allow negotiations for a comprehensive and balanced TTIP deal, that we know will add jobs and grow the economy, to continue.”

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