[A2k] 22 October 2014: Extract of Jean-Claude Juncker's speech to the European Parliament
thiru at keionline.org
Wed Oct 22 08:33:11 PDT 2014
Responsibility for medicines and pharmaceutical products will stay with the
Directorate-General for Health because I agree with you that medicines are
not goods like any other. The relevant policy will be developed jointly by
Vytenis Andriukaitis and by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, who showed her incredible
talents in her hearing.
I took note of the intense debates around investor-state dispute settlement
(ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
negotiations. Let me once again state my position clearly, that I had set
out on 15 July in front of this House and that you will find in my
Political Guidelines: My Commission will not accept that the jurisdiction
of courts in the EU Member States be limited by special regimes for
investor-to-state disputes. The rule of law and the principle of equality
before the law must also apply in this context.
The negotiating mandate foresees a number of conditions that have to be
respected by such a regime as well as an assessment of its relationship
with domestic courts. There is thus no obligation in this regard: the
mandate leaves it open and serves as a guide.
I had thought my commitment on this point was very clear but I am happy to
clarify and reiterate it here today as a number of you have asked me do so:
In the agreement that my Commission will eventually submit to this House
for approval there will be nothing that limits for the parties the access
to national courts or that will allow secret courts to have the final say
in disputes between investors and States.
I have asked Frans Timmermans, in his role as First Vice-President in
charge of the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to advise
me on the matter. There will be no investor-to-state dispute clause in TTIP
if Frans does not agree with it too.
I am confident that – with your support – we can negotiate an ambitious
trade agreement with the U.S. along these lines, with full respect of
European interests and the rule of law.
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