EPSU calls on EP to reject ISDS in plenary vote on TTIP10 June

(29 May 2015)
EPSU calls for EP plenary vote on TTIP to ‘replay’ ISDS vote, stick to commitments on public services, and protect workers’ rights

In the run up to the plenary vote on TTIP in the European Parliament on 10 June 2015, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) calls on all political groups to take a long and hard look at Investor to State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).

The proposals from the European Commission for a reformed ISDS do very little to address the fundamental problem with ISDS, which is essentially to do with justice(*). The vast majority of ordinary citizens realise that it is unjust to give special rights to one group of society: why cannot the European Parliament and national governments do the same? Rather than spreading the disease, even in a milder form, the EP and Member States should insist on a cure and reject ISDS in TTIP, and in CETA, (the recently concluded EU-Canada trade agreement).

Similarly, EPSU considers there is no place for public services within TTIP. Here the EP INTA Committee vote on 28 May agreed important safeguards for public services, but these must now be translated into solid legal text. This requires firm commitments from national governments too. “Citizens need to be very vigilant that their governments do not sneak in irreversible liberalization of public services such as water, education, health and social services under the cover of TTIP while the EU institutions stand by and say these are national choices that have nothing do with them,” said EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan. “The EU social model must uphold democratic choices over how public services are run including when people decide on reversal of liberalisation or to remunicipalise a service.”

Finally, EPSU calls for the EP plenary vote to uphold the demand by the EP INTA Committee that the US ratifies all the fundamental ILO Conventions. This is the absolute minimum for any EU trade agreement: If the EU and US want TTIP to be a ‘flagship’ agreement that would contribute to fair globalization, they should of course have much higher ambitions and advocate – and implement – a full range of labour (and environmental) standards within the international legal system.

(*) see for example analysis of EC reform proposals

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