The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed mega trade deal that was negotiated between the European Union and the United States.

The original mandate to the European Commission stated: “the Agreement will include an appropriate dispute settlement mechanism”.

The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in TTIP has drawn fierce criticism from civil society groups from both sides of the Atlantic. They claimed in December 2013, in a letter to the European Commission and the Office of the United States Trade Representative that ISDS was “a one-way street by which corporations can challenge government policies, but neither governments nor individuals are granted any comparable rights to hold corporations accountable”.

In 2014, the European Commission launched a public consultation about the inclusion of ISDS in TTIP. The result was very clear: 97% of the 150,000 participants said no to ISDS.

The European Commission put forward in 2015 a proposal for an alternative mechanism, named investment court system, a move it said would make ISDS more transparent and allow states to appeal against multinationals’ challenges. But groups portrayed the suggested changes as putting “lipstick on a pig”, as they are merely cosmetic changes, and would still allow corporations to sue governments in parallel court settings.

Following strong public outcry and the election of Trump in the US, talks on a comprehensive agreement were put on hold in 2017.

(March 2020)

Friends of the Earth Europe | 2-Dec-2015
This report explains how the European Union is aggressively pursuing special rights for businesses whilst hampering efforts to hold corporations responsible for the human rights violations they commit.
World Trade Online | 25-Nov-2015
The new European Union proposal for an investment chapter in the TTIP is mostly identical to the draft chapter Brussels released but makes what could be significant changes to how parallel claims are handled and tightens rules on arbitrator conduct.
El Diario | 24-Nov-2015
El economista José Ramón Mariño, de la organización internacional ATTAC, advierte de que si no se ponen salvaguardas, las empresas de Estados Unidos podrán vender en Europa sus productos sin cumplir normativas ambientales o sanitarias.
TNI | 24-Nov-2015
Professor Gus Van Harten, Osgoode Hall Law School, and Rupert Schlegelmilch, European Commission, Directorate General for Trade discuss the European Commission’s proposed “Investment Court System”.
Vieuws | 18-Nov-2015
European Parliament President, Martin Schulz and Chair of the EP’s International Trade Committee, Bernd Lange said they wanted the Investment Court System (ICS) to be also part of the EU free trade agreement with Canada, known as CETA.
TNI | 12-Nov-2015
SOMO and TNI launch a new a quiz on ISDS & TTIP. The quiz is intended to increase everyone’s critical knowledge of ISDS and TTIP.
European Commission | 12-Nov-2015
As published by the European Commission
OMAL | 10-Nov-2015
El objetivo de este informe es servir de advertencia a los europeos que se preocupan por la salud de sus ciudadanos, la resiliencia de sus comunidades, el destino de sus servicios públicos y la protección de sus recursos naturales.
Reuters | 30-Oct-2015
The United States is wary of a European Union proposal for a new court system to settle investment disputes as part of the world’s biggest free-trade agreement
Client Earth | 28-Oct-2015
We have severe doubts that ISDS is compatible with EU law, as we show in our new study.

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