Commission draws misleading conclusions on arbitration

21 November 2017

Commission draws misleading conclusions on arbitration

The European Commission is misleading EU member state citizens by representing public support for arbitration in much too positive a light. That was the conclusion drawn by a collective of social organisations following an in-depth study of the Commission's research. The SP is asking the Commission to redo its work.

At the end of last year the Commission launched a public consultation on the Multilateral Investment Court (MIC), a special court charged with settling arbitration cases brought on the basis of EU trade and investment treaties. The MIC is a reaction to the broad resistance against private arbitration conducted behind closed doors under the Investor State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS) and does contain a few improvements. Nevertheless, the MIC is now just as much under fire, because it also hands one-sidedly to the multinationals the possibility to bring legal complaints against states. The Commission is hoping to reach agreement on the MIC as quickly as possible, and asked social organisations and other interested parties for their opinions.

The conclusion of their survey, however, seems to be so much moonshine. Only 7.8% of respondents expressed unreserved support for the MIC, while 16.7% said they would prefer a more ambitious proposal. Fully 46.5% turned out to be completely against. Responding to the findings and to the Commission's conclusions, SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur, the party's spokeswoman on trade, said, “This isn't a slight distortion, it's a totally false presentation of the actual findings. I've asked the Commission for their reaction to the NGOs' findings, and if it turns out that they have indeed drawn the wrong conclusions, then the research will just have to be repeated. It's a typical example of how the Commission sabotages democratic participation.” The SP is critical of the MIC on the grounds that it bolsters investors' rights.

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