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TTIP vote is an attack on democracy

8 July 2015

TTIP vote is an attack on democracy

Foto: Anne-Marie Mineur / Dark clouds over the European Parliament

The European Parliament today voted in favour of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system, a system of arbitration which gives special rights to foreign investors. ISDS will form part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the trade treat between the European Union and the United States. Despite growing social disquiet and a fierce and spirited campaign by citizens of the member states and social organisations, the Parliament opted for the agenda favoured by European multinationals.

SP Euro-MP Marie Mineur is unable to understand the attitude of those who voted for the resolution. “These are parties which call themselves democratic,’ she says. ‘Yet they vote for a treaty that undermines our democracy in every way.  ISDS is a parallel legal system that offers foreign corporations the chance to debunk our laws through rights not extended to our own employers or to workers. But also, the way in which our own rules and laws will be adapted to those of the US market is far from democratic or transparent. With a new consultative body in which the corporations themselves will to a large extent be able to determine the rules, we are being driven still further away from any open and democratic control.’  

Mineur is also unhappy about the way in which social discontent has been ignored. ‘150,000 people and organisations have reacted to an official public consultation on this ISDS. According to figures from the European Commission, 97% of them reject the ISDS. 2.3 million people have signed the European Citizens’ Initiative to halt the TTIP negotiations.  Europe has an increasing problem with its democratic legitimacy.’  

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