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1 Mar 2017

Monika Ermert, Intellectual Property Watch

EU: Commission says human rights enforcement through an intl. court cannot be included in trade agreements

"Many Questions On Potential Multilateral Investment Court System", 27 Feb 2017

The European Commission is pushing ahead with its Multilateral Investment Court (MIC) project, but called requests to eliminate specialised investor protection mechanisms unrealistic during a dedicated meeting with stakeholders in Brussels today...[T]he Commission heard statements from representatives of trade associations, labour unions, environmental and human rights groups and legal experts.  The MIC project resulted from considerable opposition to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions...Outlining efficiency, transparency and adherence to values like sustainability as guiding principles for the reform, Malmström acknowledged the deficiencies of ISDS...Business representatives during the consultation today wondered how the Commission would ensure that investors would enjoy a level playing field with regard to investor protection...Many environmental, labour union and human rights experts questioned the lack of ambition in the reform as envisaged by the EU Commission...Malmström reacted by pointing out that enforcing labour rights, human rights and environmental protection standards included in the trade agreements through an international court “would be a welcome thing, but it is extremely complicated and cannot be led by DG Trade.”...