On 9 March 2015, EDRi-member Vrijschrift sent a letter to the Dutch Parliament, highlighting the dangers of investor-state dispute settlement clauses (ISDS) in the trade agreements with Canada (CETA) and Singapore (EUSFTA) that the European Union is currently negotiating.
Today, European Digital Rights (EDRi) is publishing its latest booklet, “TTIP and digital rights”: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade agreement that is currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union. TTIP has already raised many concerns among civil society, trade unions, consumer groups, some businesses, and European and national institutions.
The Parliament of the Belgian German-speaking community voted a resolution on Tuesday asking for the suspension of TTIP negotiations. Regional MPs said the EU-US free-trade agreement talks lack transparency and threaten European standards and democratic process.
In a letter to the European Parliament, Dutch EDRi member Vrijschrift suggests the Parliament ask the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) whether the investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) is compatible with the EU treaties.
Vrijschrift points out that the ISDS in the trade agreement with Singapore would expose our privacy to interference, expose the EU to claims for damages, compromise the independence of our data protection authorities, and compromise the effectiveness of the Court of Justice of the EU. In essence, the ISDS places investment tribunals above democracies.
Top officials of countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are convening in New Zealand today to sign the final agreement. But for the TPP to actually go into force, countries need to ratify it. Each of the twelve TPP countries have differing procedures for doing this, however due to both political reasons and the terms of stipulated by the TPP, the agreement cannot go into force without the United States' ratification. That's why it's so critical that people in the U.S. demand congressional accountability over this deal and urge their lawmakers to vote no when the TPP comes before them for approval.
Since the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) was signed and its text released earlier this year, preventing the passage of that agreement through Congress during its upcoming lame duck session has become a top priority. But there's another secretive trade agreement lurking out of sight and out of mind, which is also scheduled for completion this year: the Trade in Services Agreement or TISA, which contains many provisions that are a virtual copy-and-paste out of the TPP's Electronic Commerce chapter.