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MEPs seek investor dispute compromise in trade deal row

brussels bureau

MEPs seek investor dispute compromise in trade deal row


MEPs have voted to back a plan aimed at healing divisions over a trade deal between the EU and the US.

The European Parliament had been split on the idea of having private arbitration for investors to settle disputes.

Lawmakers decided they must be handled by publicly-appointed judges by 436 votes to 241, with 32 abstentions

“Clearly we have placed the extra-judicial arbitration in the dustbin of history. it is clear that private tribunals have no future in trade agreements. And we will work on a new system, which corresponds to a public court,” said Bernd Lange, a German centre-left MEP

Such Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses, or ISDS, are common in trade deals. They allow foreign investors to use arbitration panels instead of domestic courts to challenge a government when an investment is considered to have been harmed

Centre-right parliamentarians see a U.S. trade deal as good for business.

But the Greens and some far-left and far-right MEPs see it as a threat to EU laws.

“We wanted to have a vote against this TTIP resolution, because there are so many risks: on food safety, on environment, on social rights, on public services and on regulatory cooperation,” said Yannick Jadot, a French Green MEP.

The motion is non-binding, but any agreed deal will eventually need the approval of the European Parliament.

Negotiations are still ongoing.

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brussels bureau