Positions on investor-to-state dispute settlement

Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant today opens with an article on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), stating that ISDS can have far-reaching effects on EU environmental laws. De Volkskrant writes it has a leaked draft of the EU – Canada trade agreement.

Jan Kleinheisterkamp of the London School of Economics says the concerns about ISDS are not unrealistic. He points to the Vattenfall – Germany case, involving a 3.7 billion euro claim against Germany.

Judith Merkies, MEP, S&D, says ISDS compromises the member states sovereignty.

Marietje Schaake, MEP (ALDE) finds the critique understandable, investment funds can fight, delay or influence new laws. But, she says, the critique shouldn’t be exaggerated. ISDS creates guarantees for companies and can help to stimulate investments.

I find Schaake’s position rather problematic. There are serious concerns that ISDS may undermine democracy and our ability to regulate for the public interest. This may be a defining moment. Just stating that concerns shouldn’t be exaggerated is too simple. And Brazil, the country attracting most foreign investments, does not sign ISDS clauses. Schaake’s reasoning fails.

According to De Volkskrant, the Netherlands is in favor of including ISDS in trade agreements, while Germany and France would show some hesitations.

See also:

Vrijschrift Foundation rejects EU – US trade mandate http://acta.ffii.org/?p=1903

Update:

See also: A Response To The Critics Of “Profiting From Injustice” http://kluwerarbitrationblog.com/blog/2013/01/02/a-response-to-the-critics-of-profiting-from-injustice/

The right to say no – EU-Canada trade agreement threatens fracking bans
http://www.tni.org/briefing/right-say-no

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