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Citizens have spoken: no to ISDS!

A large majority of citizens has expressed strong criticism of an investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism which forms part of the negotiations on a EU-US trade deal (TTIP).

Almost all of the 150,000 people who responded to the Commission's consultation process on ISDS, published today by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, said that they did not agree that corporations should have the right to take action for compensation against sovereign governments in special courts if regulation ran counter to corporate interests.

GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz, shadow rapporteur on TTIP, said: “This is a clear message: citizens, trade unions, local and regional governments and small and medium-sized companies do not want special courts for corporations to bring cases against individual sovereign states. The record 150,000 responses to the Commission's questions shows just how important this issue is for people.

“A million signatures against TTIP were handed over to President Juncker last December, and the result of this consultation is further evidence that public opinion rejects this project of big business.”

But despite this clear public disapproval of ISDS, the Commission's report worryingly concludes that there are only four aspects of ISDS which need to be improved.

“It would be a serious mistake for the Commission to ignore citizens' opinions,” warned MEP Scholz. “The report clearly indicates that the ISDS mechanism is perceived as a threat to democracy and public finances. The Commission should now act to reflect this significant call from citizens and immediately throw out the ISDS.”

“ISDS should be deleted from the CETA trade agreement with Canada too,” concluded Helmut Scholz. “We will be voting on TTIP later this year – MEPs should keep in mind that citizens will be closely watching to see if their elected representatives in the European Parliament have taken heed of their concerns.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group