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Investors should not be able to attack sovereign democratic decisions through arbitration procedures, Chair of the INTA committee said today.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled today that the arbitration clause in an agreement between the Netherlands and Slovakia on the protection of investments is not compatible with EU law. Commenting on this outcome, Chair of the International Trade Committee Bernd Lange (S&D, DE) issued the following statement.

“I welcome the decision of the Court today in the Achmea case that arbitration is not compatible with EU law when it comes to resolving conflicts between states and investors inside the EU. Already back in 2013, INTA Members argued that such bilateral investment treaties inside the European Union should be terminated as they have a discriminatory effect and they are in conflict with the principle of the autonomy of the EU law.

This decision shows again that the ISDS-system is an unacceptable mechanism to resolve disputes between investors and states, and in particular when it concerns two Member States of the EU. Investors should not be able to attack sovereign democratic decisions through arbitration procedures."

Quick facts

In a July 2015 resolution on TTIP, the Parliament requested to replace ISDS with a new mechanism. MEPs consider the new investment protection rules in CETA to be a stepping-stone to a fair international system. MEPs debated plans to replace controversial private arbitration with an impartial and transparent multilateral court with Commissioner Malmström last November.