TTIP: Corporate power and ISDS are biggest public concerns

5 July 2015

TTIP: Corporate power and ISDS are biggest public concerns

The question that at the beginning of June SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur put out on Twitter brought many concerned reactions. The growing power of big corporations was one which came to the fore, neck-and neck with the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system, that gives corporations additional rights in relation to legal complaints against countries when a policy does not suit them. The undermining of democracy, food safety and social rights were also often mentioned. The TTIP will once again figure on the agenda in the coming week when the European Parliament votes on it.

“Wednesday’s #TTIP debate in the European Parliament. Let me know what you believe to be the TTIP’s greatest danger,” tweeted Anne-Marie Mineur on 7th June. Dozens of people reacted immediately, often with several answers. The growing power of big corporations was most often cited. “The corporate giga-lobby, which has absolutely no interest in people’s wellbeing,” wrote @TGIFinBrasil. ‏@Janjan736 wrote: “Only multinationals will profit from the TTIP, for the rest: job losses, unhealthy lives, less freedom-”.

Cited just as often was the ISDS. @HansBoerwinkel wrote: “Biggest danger of #TTIP is #ISDS. Gives corporations the right to compensation if laws threaten to reduce their profits.” And @AndreSomers wrote: “Inequality in legal resources between foreign corporations on the one hand and the government and domestic firms on the other.” Along the same lines, people fear the undermining of democracy. “Biggest danger TTIP end of democracy, citizens not protected, corporations gain still more power. #nightmare”, wrote ‏@RoesMiek.

Anne-Marie Mineur recognises the concerns expressed. ‘Treaties such as the TTIP are extremely complex,’ she says, ‘and so they’re really tricky. By establishing a massive internal market with the United States, but also with countries such as Canada and Japan, we’ll be putting our own values and achievements under pressure. By giving corporate capital the chance to stick its fat finger in the pie when it comes to changing the rules which protect us, we’ll be undermining democracy. I think that these people have understood this very well. This Wednesday I will be voting with no doubts whatsoever against the TTIP, and in particular against any form of ISDS. I can only hope that my fellow MEPs do the same.’

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