The Parliament’s trade committee passed a resolution backing the EU-US free trade agreement on Thursday, including a deal on the controversial investor state dispute settlement, after the two main political groups forged a compromise.
The panel took up dozens of amendments, but all eyes were on one vote: a compromise on the investor court struck late Wednesday between the European People’s Party and the Socialists & Democrats.
The panel voted, 29-10, for the amendment, which settles to use the ISDS reform proposal recently pitched by Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström as a basis for “a permanent solution for resolving disputes between investors and states … where potential cases are treated in a transparent manner by publicly appointed, independent professional judges in public hearings and which includes an appellate mechanism,” ensuring “a consistency of judicial decisions [and respecting] the jurisdiction of courts of the EU and of the Member States.”
The measure is only advice to the European Commission — the Parliament itself only observes the negotiations — but Thursday’s vote could boost TTIP over the longer term. The trade agreement will need, once it is finally negotiated, to pass the Parliament. The Commission therefore needs the Parliament on its side.
In recent months, the Commission has had to change its its position on the investor court under pressure from the Parliament.
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