Parliament is finalising its recommendations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). They will be debated by MEPs on Tuesday and voted on Wednesday. The vote on the EP recommendations was postponed in June due to the large number of amendments. Now it seems a compromise could be possible. We talked to German S&D member Bernd Lange, chair of the international trade committee and responsible for drafting the Parliament's recommendations, to find out more.
Some people are still concerned about TTIP. How does the text being voted on in plenary on Wednesday address these concerns?
There are a lot of concerns, also because this is a new kind of trade agreement and that's why we have to be transparent. In our resolution we make very clear that specific European values, specific European traditions, are not included in the TTIP agreement, such as for example cultural diversity, public services or the creation of measures to protect data flow or data protection.
We make sure that the possibility to legislate European issues by European policy bodies is still there and should not be influenced by any trade agreement.
There have also been concerns about the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which is a private system to resolve any possible disputes between investors and countries. How has the situation changed from last month when the plenary vote was postponed?
The clarification is new. Last time it was clear that ISDS is dead, that private arbitration is an instrument of the past and it is not foreseen by the Parliament anymore as an alternative in trade agreements.
However, last month it was not worded clearly enough. Now it is clear that ISDS has to be replaced by a public court. We need publicly appointed judges, we need a clear European mechanism, we need a public codex of the court. So it is a completely new system.