SP Euro-MP Mineur: changes in TTIP treaty are just playing to the gallery

2 October 2015

SP Euro-MP Mineur: changes in TTIP treaty are just playing to the gallery

There is no question that the European Commission wants to retain the controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system in the trade treaties with the United States (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP) and Canada (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – CETA). That was the SP’s conclusion from the leaked negotiating mandate for the treaty with Canada published today by Foodwatch, which showed that it wasn’t Canada, but the European Union which insisted on the inclusion of ISDS. European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström claims that the negotiations with Canada can’t be reopened, proving that this is entirely a question of unwillingness on the part of the EU.

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur says that the European population is being treated with contempt. ‘Opposition to this arbitration system is enormous,’ she noted. ‘A hundred and fifty thousand people have made their objections known, almost all of them extremely critical. Commissioner Malmström has, it’s true, proposed a number of cosmetic changes to the treaty with the US, but now it turns out that she never intended to carry these through to the Canadian treaty. That’s all the worse because it’s a piece of cake for US corporations to make use of the Canadian treaty. You need little more than a mailbox firm. The tale of improvements to the TTIP – the treaty with the United States - is just playing to the gallery.’

The ISDS gives multinationals the possibility of taking governments to court if they adopt laws which could adversely affect their investments. The European Commission has always ignored the objections to this arbitration system, pointing out that the negotiations have already been completed and cannot be reopened. Yet opposition to the ISDS continues to grow. Almost three million citizens of EU member states have signed the Citizens’ Initiative against the TTIP, CETA and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). A demonstration is planned for 10th October in Amsterdam, in which 10,000 people have already committed themselves to participating.

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