[A2k] Irresponsible EU parliament vote on ISDS tomorrow

Ante Wessels ante at ffii.org
Tue Apr 15 08:17:41 PDT 2014

Irresponsible EU parliament vote on ISDS tomorrow
with links

April 15, 2014
By Ante

Tomorrow the EU parliament will vote on investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The parliament will vote on a
regulation regarding “International agreements: framework for managing financial responsibility linked to
investor-state dispute settlement tribunals”. See the procedure file.

The regulation is a deal between council and parliament, it establishes rules for managing the financial consequences
of investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Who will have to pay, the EU or the member state, if the EU loses an
ISDS case? The regulation is a preparatory step to the inclusion of ISDS in EU trade agreements.

Today the international trade committee voted in favour of the regulation, tomorrow plenary will vote. We can expect
the regulation to be adopted.

In my opinion, the vote is irresponsible.

When is the member state responsible? When the Member State acts in a manner inconsistent with that required by Union
law, for example when it fails to transpose a directive adopted by the Union, that Member State should consequently
bear financial responsibility.

Sounds clear and reasonable. But then, say a country is in a financial crisis. Member state, commission, council and
IMF come together. A plan to save the financial system is made. Who then takes the decision? The threat of ISDS claims
will loom over the decision.

ISDS adds extra complexity to solving a financial crisis. This heightens the chance on a financial system collapse.

The commission added a carve-out for financial crises? Yes, in true commission style: a dysfunctional one, dependent
on the other party.

Now take a look at the procedure file again. Four committees decided not to give an opinion: Development, Legal
Affairs, Budgets, Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Even Economic and Monetary Affairs wasn’t interested. They just left it to international trade committee.

ISDS threatens democracy, human rights and the stability of the financial system.

In my opinion the parliament should refer the regulation back to the committees and await the consultation.

On the positive side: if the parliament votes tomorrow, we will know on whom not to vote in the elections.

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