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Postup : 2017/2924(RSP)
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Stadia projednávání dokumentu : O-000084/2017

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O-000084/2017 (B8-0611/2017)

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PV 29/11/2017 - 23
CRE 29/11/2017 - 23

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Rozpravy
Středa, 29. listopadu 2017 - Brusel Revidované vydání

23. Jednání o úmluvě o zřízení mnohostranného soudu pro urovnávání sporů z investic (rozprava)
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PV
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  Przewodniczący. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dnia jest debata nad pytaniem wymagającym odpowiedzi ustnej skierowanym do Komisji przez Bernda Langego w imieniu Komisji Handlu Międzynarodowego w sprawie negocjacji w sprawie Konwencji ustanawiającej wielostronny trybunał rozstrzygania sporów inwestycyjnych (O-000084/2017 – B8-0611/2017 (2017/2924(RSP)).

 
  
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  Bernd Lange, Verfasser. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Mit der großen Mehrheit dieses Hauses unterstützt das Parlament die Einrichtung eines multilateralen Gerichtshofs als Konsequenz aus der Einsicht, dass der alte Streitbeilegungsmechanismus, das alte ISDS-System, viele Schwächen hat und auf den Müllhaufen der Geschichte gehört. Wir haben lange diskutiert über intransparente Verfahren, über die fehlenden Revisionsmöglichkeiten, über die Frage, dass Anwaltskanzleien große Geschäfte damit machen, und, und, und. Das ist kein vernünftiger Investitionsschutz, und insofern ist es richtig – und wir haben als Parlament dafür gesorgt, dass auch in dem Kanada-Abkommen ein anderes System, ein Gerichtssystem mit Richterinnen und Richtern, mit Revisionsinstanz, mit voller Transparenz, und, und, und eingerichtet worden ist und sich beide Partner, wie Sie wissen, im Kanada-Abkommen verpflichtet haben, sich für einen multilateralen Investitionsgerichtshof stark zu machen und auch Partner zu gewinnen. Wir haben gesehen, dass bei einer Präsentation während der Unctad-Konferenz viel Interesse da war. Wir haben gesehen, dass viele technische Meetings schon da waren. Insofern ist das wirklich ein Weg, um die alten ISDS-Verträge wirklich aufzulösen.

Wir wollen ja diesen Weg unterstützen, und deswegen, Frau Kommissarin, haben wir diese Anfrage zur mündlichen Beantwortung gestellt. Insbesondere drei Punkte liegen uns da am Herzen. Sie kennen die Fragen, die brauche ich nicht vorzulesen. Vielleicht die drei Elemente. Zunächst einmal: Wenn man diesen Prozess unterstützen will, geht es natürlich auch darum, zu wissen, welche Schwierigkeiten es gibt, welche Gegenargumente und welche Restriktionen es gibt. Und deswegen wäre es ganz gut, wenn wir da noch mal ein bisschen intensiver ins Gespräch kommen, wo eigentlich mögliche Hindernisse liegen. Zum Beispiel könnte ich mir vorstellen, dass manche Länder auf dieser Erde sagen: Es ist ja ganz nett, wenn der jetzt mit seinem Vorschlag eines multilateralen Investitionsgerichts um die Ecke kommt, aber der Ministerrat und einige Mitgliedstaaten nicht mal in der Lage sind, die Uncitral-Konvention über mehr Transparenz zu unterschreiben. Das ist ein gewisser Widerspruch, und ich sage: Das könnte ein Hindernis sein. Also noch mal gucken: Wo liegen vielleicht Hindernisse?

Zweitens interessiert uns natürlich besonders, was das eigentlich für die europäischen bilateralen Investitionsabkommen und für das einzige von der Europäischen Union mit ISDS verabschiedete Investitionsabkommen, die Energiecharta, bedeutet. Wir haben um die 1 200 bilaterale Investitionsabkommen. Ich finde, das ist ja ein Wunder, dass wir uns heftigst streiten über zukünftige Abkommen und deren Streitbeilegung, aber die bestehenden einfach weiter bestehen und auch heftigst genutzt werden. Zum Beispiel ist Spanien ja zurzeit eines der Länder, das am häufigsten von anderen, auch europäischen Staaten oder von den Unternehmen europäischer Staaten und manchmal auch aus Staaten verklagt wurde, die dieses System besonders stark kritisieren. Also, wie verhält es sich eigentlich mit dem neuen Ansatz zu den bestehenden Abkommen? Ich glaube, da muss man auch Klarheit schaffen.

Drittens: Aus meinem Heimatland gibt es Kritik vom Deutschen Richterbund, einem sehr seriösen Verband von Richterinnen und Richtern, die sagen: Das ist kein gutes System, weil der nationale Rechtsweg nicht voll ausgeschöpft wird. Da möchten wir auch noch mal eine Antwort haben, wie Sie das sehen – eine Verknüpfung der Aufforderung, den nationalen Rechtsweg erst auszuschöpfen, um dann einen internationalen, multilateralen Gerichtshof anrufen zu können.

Drei Punkte – unter anderen –, die, denke ich, notwendig sind, damit wir auch noch viel stärker in die Offensive gehen können.

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, thank you for this question and for the opportunity to discuss where we are in discussions on the Multilateral Investment Court.

Mr Lange kindly added some extra questions to the written questions, so I will try to answer them and then we can come back to it in the debate.

On the first question in the written questions – because I am eager to answer all of that otherwise I will be criticised – we have engaged, as you know, with Parliament and the stakeholders on the need to reform the existing investor-state dispute arbitration, particularly at meetings in the Committee on International Trade, in public consultation, the impact assessment process, and quite a lot of stakeholder meetings here in Brussels, as well as across Europe and in other countries as well.

From these discussions, it became even clearer that investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), the traditional way of resolving disputes between foreign investors and host states, has a number of shortcomings. We have discussed this numerous times. I think that even in the first hearing I had, before I became Commissioner for Trade, I promised to reform the system, and it was very clear then that many of you already had criticisms. One of the problems is that the disputing parties choose and pay what are perceived to be their adjudicators for each case. This raises important concerns and does not fit with the principle that justice should not only be done, but should also be seen to be done.

Secondly, this ad hoc system inevitably creates fragmentation of the interpretation of core elements of investment protection standards, and that leads to uncertainty for governments and investors alike. Furthermore, the ISDS system as it is today is not transparent, it has no possibility for appeal and it does not provide for sufficient review opportunities, and this is a problem.

In order to respond to these concerns, we have been working on the initiative to create a permanent Multilateral Investment Court. This would ensure a higher degree of legitimacy, consistency and reliability. It would also reinforce independence and impartiality, transparency and also effectiveness in investment dispute resolution at global level, because this discussion is not only taking place in Europe.

I have been discussing this matter with trade ministers across the globe, and in many countries it is a focus of debate. So they are also looking at how to reform the system. They get a lot of criticism from domestic stakeholders and this is, therefore, something on which there really is a case for global reform, instead of each country trying to reform in its own way.

We have examined different options in our Impact Assessment, ranging from the reform of the existing rules or renegotiation of each investment treaty, to the establishment of an appeal body, but these alternatives do not really fully address the totality of the concerns identified by us, and also raised by this House and many others. This is why a Multilateral Investment Court could be the optimal reform of the system.

The Council and its Member States have broadly welcomed this and they have expressed political support. The Commission adopted a recommendation for a Council Decision on 13 September, authorising the opening of negotiations for a Convention establishing the Multilateral Court. That recommendation is public. You can see it, so you will know what we are talking about, and we are looking forward to the swift adoption by the Council of the authorisation and directives. But we still have no indication of when this will come.

On the other question, the idea that the Multilateral Investment Court would replace any ISDS mechanism included in the investment treaties; yes, but there are internal bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between EU Member States. They will have to be outside this reform initiative. We consider them, from the Commission side, as contrary to EU law, and Member States have to deal with this issue. Therefore, we should not move them to the Multilateral Investment Court.

Another question that was asked was about our current thinking on the relationship between the Multilateral Investment Court and the domestic courts, and how that will be governed in the investment treaties under the Multilateral Investment Court jurisdiction. Our approach, included in our EU Agreement, will be to encourage recourse to domestic courts prior to initiating international dispute settlement. This is the EU position. However, in different countries we are discussing with their different traditions, so we will have to see how we can find a way forward as part of the negotiations.

On the fourth question, one of the priorities would be to facilitate access to the Court for SMEs, to ensure full transparency of proceedings, the intervention of affected third parties and an effective international enforcement regime. So these are our priorities for the international negotiations.

On the final question, it is intended that discussions and future negotiations on the Court should focus only on procedural issues. Matters such as counter claims and compliance with other international obligations will, in principle, be addressed in the underlying investment treaties to be applied by the Multilateral Investment Court. If such treaties allow for the possibility of bringing counter claims, the new Court should also be able to hear those claims against investors.

Finally, it is still too early to say whether the Multilateral Investment Court would be a stand-alone institution, which is one possibility, or docked into another. There are different views on this and options are on the table. It is a little too early to decide this yet, but I promise to keep you fully informed because, of course, we will continue to have the highest level of transparency in these discussions. I welcome the opportunity of discussing this with the House today, and hopefully we will continue these discussions within the International Trade Committee and elsewhere as well.

 
  
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  Christofer Fjellner, för PPE-gruppen. – Tack Herr talman! Tack Cecilia Malmström!

Här är vi nu ikväll för att diskutera och debattera det faktum att kommissionen vill börja förhandlingar om en multilateral domstol som ska ta hand om tvister kring investeringsskydd. Jag ska vara ärlig – jag undrar fortfarande varför. Jag har ägnat många år till att följa denna debatt, och jag ska säga att ingenting av det som kommissionen, och nu Cecilia, har förklarat ett enda ögonblick har gjort det mer begripligt.

Egentligen är det ganska enkelt varför det är så svårbegripligt. Det är för att det redan råkar finnas ett multilateralt verktyg för att hantera de tvister vi talar om. Det är ICSID som ni är medvetna om, som skapades 1965, som omfattar 161 länder och som i grund och botten styrs av samma kommission, FN-kommissionen Uncitral, som styr alla dessa typer av frågor.

Nu har man då bestämt sig för att uppfinna hjulet på nytt i en europeisk kontext och försöka skapa en ny, annorlunda eller kanske till och med likadan typ av institution, och därför undrar jag bara: Varför?

För att hitta svaret på den frågan så tror jag att man måste leta i politiken, för detta är egentligen en fråga om politik. Tyvärr är det EU-politik när den är som sämst. Historien bakom denna idé vet vi alla hur den började. Den började egentligen med debatten om ISDS, och tvistlösningsförfarandet började med att ett svensk företag, Vattenfall, stämde Tyskland i samband med att man valde att avveckla kärnkraften. Mina tyska kollegor nickar. Ni vet att det var så det gick till. En gång i tiden lade Sverige ner kärnkraft och det var ett tyskt företag som drev kärnkraftverken, och Sverige betalade ersättning för det. I detta fall betalades ingen ersättning. Jag vet inte om Vattenfall har rätt eller inte rätt till ersättning. Det vet jag inte, men detta blev ett stort politiskt problem i Tyskland. Framförallt bland de tyska socialdemokraterna. Detta stora tyska politiska problem blev den tyska regeringens problem, och vad gör man då? Då gör man sitt eget problem till ett europeiskt problem. Helt plötsligt ... (ohörbart)... på EU att försöka hantera kontroversen om tvistlösning.

Vad gör Europa då? Låt oss göra detta problem till ett globalt problem. Kan vi inte se till att hela världen engagerar sig i att på något sätt skapa en ny institution, som vi i och för sig egentligen redan har, för att hantera tvister mellan stater och investerare?

Men jag förstår fortfarande inte varför. Det är inte så att vi har jättemånga av dessa tvister. Sedan 60-talet har vi haft 600 drygt. Globalt! Då undrar jag – är det så att vi har en massa problem med de tvister som genomförs idag? Än så länge har ingen kunnat visa på det.

Jag gjorde en utmaning på Twitter för något år när debattens vågor gick som allra högst. Nu är det inte så många som är intresserade längre men då, när alla var väldigt intresserade, frågade jag: Kan ni ge mig ett exempel på ett fall av sådana här investeringstvister som är orättfärdigt? Jag har inte fått ett enda förslag. Men för varje förslag någon kommer med så lovar jag ge tio exempel som är rättfärdigade och viktiga.

Istället för att vara fångad av denna politiska beskrivning och försöka laga ett system som faktiskt fungerar, så kanske man skulle ägna motsvarande engagemang och motsvarande tid åt att reformera ICSID – den institution som finns sedan 60-talet, med 161 stater, och försöka göra det bättre i stället för att bara duplicera. Jag tror tyvärr att detta kommer leda till mer problem, inte mindre.

 
  
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  Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señora comisaria, es verdad: existen más de 3 300 acuerdos bilaterales en el mundo —unos 1 400 en la Unión Europea— que contienen el mecanismo de arbitraje privado para la resolución de litigios entre inversores y Estados. Creado en los años cincuenta —muy pasado— no responde a los principios democráticos de nuestro tiempo, es opaco, carece de predictibilidad y consistencia jurídica, pone en riesgo las decisiones de los Gobiernos cuando regulan en defensa del interés general, no cuenta con mecanismo de apelación y es inaccesible para las pymes.

Con razón genera un rechazo frontal de la ciudadanía.

Los socialistas y demócratas nos oponemos frontalmente a este sistema. Ya lo demostramos cuando forzamos la reapertura de las negociaciones del CETA para eliminar la resolución de litigios entre inversores y Estados.

Necesitamos crear un nuevo marco jurídico de protección del inversor, como venimos planteando en este Parlamento y, sinceramente, creo que el tribunal multilateral puede ser la mejor solución, porque permitirá aplicar las mismas reglas por los mismos jueces a cualquier empresa ante cualquier litigio con cualquier Estado.

Comisaria, quiero felicitarla hoy, a usted y a su equipo, porque creo que están haciendo un excelente trabajo para recabar apoyos internacionales a esta propuesta. Cuenta con mi apoyo para defender un tribunal multilateral que sea público, transparente, imparcial, con jueces permanentes, independientes, sometidos a un estricto código de conducta e incompatibilidades y —añado— que representen también la diversidad de género; que sea accesible a las pymes con un mecanismo de apelación y que permita a todas las partes interesadas, incluida la sociedad civil, someter sus alegaciones.

Pero quedan cuestiones que dilucidar. ¿Cómo se va a producir efectivamente la relación con las jurisdicciones nacionales? Parece razonable agotar primero ese sistema en los países que lo tienen antes de ir al tribunal. ¿Cómo se va a garantizar efectivamente el acceso a las pymes? ¿Cómo se financiará el nuevo modelo y cómo se apoyará a los países en desarrollo? ¿Y cómo se realizará el periodo de transición de un sistema a otro?

Espero su respuesta.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας ECR. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, έχουμε δει ότι οι πολυεθνικές δεν επιθυμούν να φορολογούνται εκεί όπου παράγουν τα κέρδη τους. Τώρα πλέον οι πολυεθνικές δεν επιθυμούν να εκδικάζονται οι υποθέσεις τους στις χώρες στις οποίες επενδύουν και το είδαμε αυτό με την απαίτηση ρυθμίσεων τύπου ISDS στη CETA ή στην ΤΤΙΡ. Τα πράγματα είναι απλά: έχουμε εθνικές δικαιοδοσίες και εθνικά δικαστήρια. Είναι απίθανο να λέγεται ότι δεν θα υπάρχει προστασία των δικαιωμάτων και των επενδυτών στις εθνικές δικαιοδοσίες. Αυτή είναι μία τοποθέτηση που πραγματικά υποτιμά τα εθνικά δικαστήρια. Για ποιον λόγο πρέπει να έχουμε αυτή τη διεθνή δικαιοδοσία; Στο όνομα ποιου θα λαμβάνει αποφάσεις; Πώς θα εκδίδονται αυτές οι αποφάσεις; Τι θα γίνουν τα εθνικά δικαστήρια; Γιατί θα πρέπει μόνον οι επενδυτές να έχουν τέτοιες διευκολύνσεις; Εγώ θεωρώ ότι είναι ένας τρόπος για να υπεκφεύγουν οι πολυεθνικές και στο τέλος να μπορούν και να προβαίνουν σε αγωγές κατά των κρατών και να μην τηρούν τις δικές τους υποχρεώσεις. Ακριβώς όπως κάνουν και με τη φοροδιαφυγή.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, after months, if not years, of heated debate on how to ensure rules-based trade with the United States, it has gone awfully silent, even on the investment protection question, also known as ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement). Still I’m happy, Commissioner Malmström, that you are not retreating and that you are continuing to address the concerns that have been voiced by this House throughout the various debates on rules-based trade.

Some key points that we have expressed concerns about are: the need for more transparency, the need for an appeals mechanism, and also the risk of conflicts of interest for adjudicators or arbitration judges. And it seems, from your presentation, that the multilateral investment court system would actually address these main concerns and could replace the controversial ISDS mechanism. So our Group is very encouraged by these proposed reforms, which are far-reaching.

Besides the updates that you gave, it would be good to hear a little more about the specific needs of SMEs – which have always been a priority for our Group – and also what would happen to existing intra-EU bilateral investment treaties that are still in place. That has been perhaps a parallel concern, but it would be good to know a little bit more about where that is going. And I am sure we will hear more details of the proposed organisational nature, the set-up and operation, in order to have a better sense of how that would go.

So thank you for these first steps: they are going in the right direction according to our Group. We look forward to continuing the discussion about these important reforms.

 
  
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  Anne-Marie Mineur, namens de GUE/NGL-Fractie. – 150 000 mensen hebben in 2014 laten weten dat ISDS voor hen volstrekt onaanvaardbaar is. Het multilateraal gerecht voor de beslechting van investeringsgeschillen, het MIC, was bedoeld als vervanger voor ISDS. En het is waar, in vergelijking met ISDS bevat het MIC een paar verbeteringen.

Maar er zijn nog steeds heel grote bezwaren. Het MIC is nog steeds een aparte rechtsgang waarmee buitenlandse investeerders miljoenen of zelfs miljarden kunnen claimen bij regeringen, die niets anders doen dan een democratisch besluit uitvoeren. Er worden geen eisen gesteld aan die investeerders en het systeem is niet toegankelijk voor derden. Er wordt bovendien niet getoetst aan nationale wetten of internationale verdragen.

Met zo’n multilateraal gerecht voor de beslechting van investeringsgeschillen kan ik niet akkoord gaan. Mijn vraag is daarom: bent u bereid om investeerders ook plichten op te leggen die volgen uit VN-conventies, ILO-standaarden en het klimaatakkoord van Parijs, bijvoorbeeld? Bent u bereid het MIC open te stellen voor staten en derde partijen zoals vakbonden, zodat zij investeerders kunnen aanklagen? Bent u bereid uitputting van nationale rechtsgang een voorwaarde te maken voor toegang tot het MIC?

En tot slot: bent u bereid te wachten op de uitspraak van het Europees Hof van Justitie over de verenigbaarheid van het Investment Court System met het Europees recht?

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, I am happy to see that the Commission is finally ready to move forward from the old-style investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system and has decided to replace it with the permanent multilateral investment court.

The problems of the traditional ISDS system are many and well known. Already two years ago, the Commission stated that it would provide a full replacement of the old ISDS mechanism with a ‘modern, efficient, transparent and impartial system for international dispute resolution’. That is a quote. Again, the Commission has stated that it needs a court that is based on public trust. Therefore, the opening of negotiations to set up this system is very welcome. In order to gain public trust, however, the Commission must be able to answer the questions that this Parliament and European citizens have posed. The key question for public trust is: what improvements will this multilateral investment court bring in terms of access to dispute settlement for states, investors and, especially, affected third parties who are often completely denied access to justice?

I see the multilateral investment court improving on the technical and procedural problems of the investment court system. But reforming only the institutional and procedural aspects of the system will not solve its fundamental flaws. It does not provide a full replacement of the old system, as was promised two years ago. In the negotiations the EU must build a court to which states and affected third parties may also bring cases: a court that protects states’ and citizens’ rights, not just investors’ rights. Otherwise, we are not providing trade for all, Commissioner, but only for the privileged few.

 
  
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  Tiziana Beghin, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Commissario, un tribunale globale per le corporation, con TTIP, CETA e TiSA pensavo di averle viste tutte, ma qui vi siete veramente superati. Ecco di che cosa abbiamo tutti bisogno: di un tribunale globale dove i grandi investitori potranno fare causa a qualunque governo mondiale per far valere in tutto il mondo, e quindi anche in Europa, i diritti dei grandi affaristi e far capire a noi cittadini chi comanda davvero.

La vostra proposta non solo legittima i soprusi legati all'ISDS, ma li moltiplica per mille, perché crea un tribunale permanente senza che vi sia una legge chiara da applicare. Settant'anni di commercio internazionale non ci hanno ancora dato un'interpretazione univoca dei diritti degli investitori, ma una cosa è certa: sono i parlamenti che devono definire questi diritti, non certo dei super tribunali.

Meglio un unico tribunale globale rispetto a tanti piccoli tribunali bilaterali, direte voi, ma anche questo è falso, perché le sentenze di una corte bilaterale valgono solo per quel caso specifico, mentre una corte permanente diventerebbe un organismo capace di definire gli standard e di creare precedenti a livello globale, e questo non lo dico io ma l'associazione dei giudici tedeschi.

Cosa dire poi dell'enorme discriminazione per cui solo gli investitori stranieri avranno diritto a questa giustizia speciale e più veloce, mentre le imprese nazionali dovranno comunque accontentarsi di quella che voi stessi considerate lenta. Altro che tribunale per gli investitori! Quello che servirebbe, signora Commissario, è un tribunale internazionale per i crimini commessi da molte multinazionali contro i cittadini del mondo: gli omicidi, l'accaparramento di terra, le contaminazioni, l'inquinamento. Però questo voi non potete chiaramente proporlo perché sarebbe giustizia vera e non è questo quello che vi interessa.

 
  
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  Karoline Graswander-Hainz (S&D). – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, werte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Der multilaterale Handelsgerichtshof ist ein Schritt in die richtige Richtung, wenn es um Verbesserungen beim Investorenschutz geht.

Der künftige Gerichtshof muss natürlich strenge Kriterien erfüllen. Er muss dauerhaft eingerichtet werden, er muss transparent, kostengünstig und unabhängig sein. Eine Berufungsinstanz braucht es auch, und die Überparteilichkeit der Richterinnen und Richter muss garantiert sein. Auf keinen Fall darf dieses neue System dazu führen, dass ausländische Investoren Sonderrechte erhalten, die anderen wie zum Beispiel NGOs, Dritten, Parteien oder Staaten verwehrt bleiben.

Frau Kommissarin, mich würde daher interessieren: Arbeitet die Kommission in diese Richtung? Was sagen die Mitgliedstaaten, aber auch die Länder außerhalb der EU, generell zu dem Vorschlag, einen multilateralen Handelsgerichtshof zu errichten?

Eine letzte Frage, die mein Kollege Bernd Lange schon gestellt hat, aber die Sie noch nicht beantwortet haben: Plant die Kommission eine Modernisierung des Investorenschutzes im Rahmen der Energiecharta?

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL). – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin! Viele Fragen sind schon gestellt worden. Das Meinungsbild scheint aber auch von vielen klar umrissen zu sein. Die Bürgerinnen und Bürger lehnen es ab, ausländischen Investoren das exklusive Recht zu geben, Klagen vor Schiedsgerichten anzudrohen und zu initiieren.

Deshalb die Frage: Bricht das von Ihnen vorgelegte Mandat für einen multilateralen Investitionsgerichtshof wirklich mit dem falschen Grundprinzip von ISDS? Bieten Sie Gleichheit vor dem Recht? Bietet das Mandat eine Antwort auf die Frage: Auf welchem Recht sollen die Urteile basieren? Auf Verfassungen, auf UN-Konventionen oder doch nur wieder auf dem schmalen Text der jeweiligen Investorenschutzabkommen?

Ferner: Adressiert der Gerichtshof auch Pflichten von Investoren? Schluss mit der Einbahnstraße! Alle internationalen Erfahrungen sagen: Wir brauchen ein Klagerecht auch für Kommunen, Städte und Länder, für die Opfer von Rechtsbrüchen transnationaler Konzerne gegen Menschen, Sozial- und Umweltrechte. Lernen wir aus dem Negativbeispiel des jahrzehntelangen Konflikts zwischen Chevron, Texaco und Ecuador.

Selbst wenn es gelänge, einen Gerichtshof zu schaffen, der die genannten Kriterien erfüllt: Solange das ISDS-Instrument im Energiechartavertrag weiter bestehen bleibt, bleiben wir als EU Klagen ausgeliefert. In der Konsequenz heißt das: Folgen wir dem Beispiel von Italien und treten wir aus der Charta aus!

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária, Caros Colegas, uma economia global melhor regulada precisa de um tribunal multilateral capaz de resolver de forma justa os litígios em matéria de investimento. A situação que temos não pode continuar. A multiplicação anárquica dos mais diversos sistemas de arbitragem em inúmeros acordos bilaterais e regionais de investimento, além dos custos que implica, não garante uma solução coerente dos litígios nem a aplicação de regras comuns.

Sendo a União Europeia o maior exportador e importador mundial de investimento, é obviamente do nosso interesse este tribunal multilateral. E é importante que este debate se faça não em torno do velho modelo de arbitragem privada mas sim da nova proposta europeia de um sistema de arbitragem pública, como ficou consagrado no acordo com o Canadá. E é esta a tarefa primeira da Comissão: reforçar a confiança no novo modelo de arbitragem pública e conquistar os apoios necessários na comunidade internacional.

Só vale a pena um tribunal multilateral se ele for realmente novo e não uma solução do passado.

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, this is indeed a historic night. So I have more speaking time, right?

Why are we doing this? Mr Fjellner is right that much of the debate in Europe originated around the Vattenfall issue. There was discussion before that, and also in other parts of the world there has been discussion of this. But that was probably the triggering event. It showed that there were issues related to transparency, procedures that were brought into question, and there were certainly questions related to legitimacy.

This is a debate that is ongoing around the world. That is why it takes a little time to get everything right, because we do not want to impose a system that is European: we want to listen to our colleagues from other regions as well.

Canada and the EU are the leading ones on this, but many other countries are interested. We are looking at setting up a group of friends who could start the process, and start looking into more details of this. If I was unclear in my introduction: all the Member States support this, it is not a Commission-driven idea, it has the support of the Member States. And I believe, judging from various votes, that it has the support of the majority of this House as well.

We do not have to re-invent the wheel. We could very well envisage incorporating this into an existing organisation. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is now discussing it, they agreed that the system needs to be reviewed, so discussions are taking place there. The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is one possibility, although it handles only 60% of cases, so there is not full coverage, and unanimity is required to change the rules, so that could be a cumbersome process, but it is certainly not excluded.

Issues related to tax evasion are important, Mr Marias, but they will not be discussed in the Multilateral Investment Court. The intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (BITs) are to be abolished. They cannot be transferred in. Coming back to another question, there is a process being discussed internally to review the Energy Charter as well, and we are looking into this. One of my colleague is responsible, and we could come back to report on how that is going.

What would the new court look like? It will have to have independent judges and they will be appointed on a permanent basis; there will have to be two instances; and there will have to be some sort of secretariat – not a huge bureaucracy but a secretariat. There will be costs, depending on how many participate. For purposes of comparison, the appellate body in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) costs EUR 10 million a year, but that is just one figure we can use as a comparative. The aim would be for the least-developed countries to pay less, and then we will have to see how much everybody should contribute. That will also depend on whether we create something new, or plug into something existing – or, rather, something slightly reformed.

Responsible business conduct is really important. There are laws that companies need to respect in the various countries, and European companies need to respect European laws even if they are operating abroad. Discussions on investors’ responsibilities are going on in various international forums. There is the human rights working group in the United Nations, and we are following that. It is a little too early to see how it is going. It was a bit dramatic at the start and the scope was unclear but we are participating and I have high hopes that this could lead to something, either as part of the discussion or in parallel.

This is an important discussion and it is a firm objective of the Commission that affected communities should have the opportunity to make their views known in proceedings before the future Multilateral Investment Court, so they will have a voice there as well. They could be able to intervene with third-party submissions or amicus curiae. This should be allowed in the proceedings, but exactly how it should work is something we will have to come back to.

Lots of work has yet to be done. We are still at a very early stage on this, we need a critical mass of countries before we can begin, and I will be looking forward to continue reporting to Parliament on how these deliberations are going.

 
  
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  Przewodniczący. – Zamykam debatę.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 162)

 
  
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  Francisco Assis (S&D), por escrito. – Quero, com esta minha declaração, deixar bem claro que concordo com esta pergunta endereçada à Comissão Europeia e que visa obter alguns esclarecimentos fundamentais sobre os objetivos, enquadramento legal e modo de funcionamento deste tribunal multilateral para a resolução de litígios em matéria de investimento. Mas ao mesmo tempo devo afirmar que não me revejo nas tentativas de utilizar esta parte, ou outras, dos acordos comerciais que a União Europeia estabelece com países terceiros, para de uma forma por vezes cega e demagógica tentar por em causa toda uma politica externa e de comercio internacional. Considero estas ações, realizadas em nome de um protecionismo antiquado, completamente desajustadas ao papel que a UE deve desempenhar como ator global, tendo em vista a proteção dos seus cidadãos, à defesa dos seus valores e inclusive o combate à desregulação que decorre do processo da globalização.

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D), schriftelijk. – In de EU hebben wij geen behoefte aan privé-rechtbanken die beslissen over geschillen tussen bedrijven en overheden. Niet alleen in het Europees Parlement zijn velen die mening toebedeeld, maar denk ook aan alle Europeanen die hun stem lieten horen tegen ISDS.

Ondanks het feit dat ISDS nu plaatsmaakt voor het multilateraal gerecht voor de beslechting van investeringsgeschillen, is het voor mij geen reden om minder kritisch te zijn. Ja, er zijn verbeteringen ten opzichte van ISDS. In mijn ogen hebben wij echter nog veel werk te verzetten als het gaat om transparante en eerlijke geschillenbeslechting.

De vragen van mijn collega Bernd Lange kan ik dan ook onderschrijven. Om tot transparante en eerlijke geschillenbeslechting tussen bedrijven en overheden te komen, is het naar mijn mening van belang dat wij onze normen en waarden niet op het spel zetten. Dit betekent bijvoorbeeld dat VN-verdragen worden nageleefd en IAO-verdragen worden onderschreven.

Mensen maken zich nog altijd zorgen over de schimmigheid die gepaard lijkt te gaan met dergelijke rechtbanken. Deze zorgen kunnen alleen weggenomen worden als niet alleen bedrijven, maar ook burgers, vakbonden en milieuorganisaties een beroep kunnen doen op het naleven van eerlijke handel.

 
  
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  Karol Karski (ECR), na piśmie. – Grupa ECR popiera inicjatywę utworzenia wielostronnego trybunału rozstrzygania sporów, która jest najnowszą propozycją w kontekście multilateralizacji i instytucjonalizacji zdecentralizowanego systemu międzynarodowego prawa inwestycyjnego. Celem podjętych działań jest zmniejszenie obciążeń administracyjnych poprzez scentralizowanie sporów w ramach jednego zbioru przepisów proceduralnych, co ma zapewnić inwestorom dostęp do rozstrzygania międzynarodowych sporów inwestycyjnych, bez względu na wielkość lub obroty przedsiębiorstw.

Poza scentralizowanym mechanizmem odwoławczym oraz możliwością interwencji stron trzecich wniosek zawiera rygorystyczne wymogi w zakresie etyki i bezstronności, mianowanie sędziów wyłącznie na jedną kadencję, zatrudnianie sędziów w pełnym wymiarze czasu pracy i niezależne mechanizmy mianowania.

Niniejsza propozycja generuje szereg problemów praktycznych i prawnych, takich jak poufność i niezależność stron w mianowaniu arbitrów, a jednocześnie rodzi pytania dotyczące kosztów, czasu trwania procedur i finansowania trybunału.

Ponadto grupa potencjalnych stałych sędziów trybunału posiadających niezbędne kwalifikacje, w przypadku których nie występuje brak konfliktu interesów, jest raczej niewielka. Najprawdopodobniej trybunał będzie się składał z tych samych arbitrów, którzy już są arbitrami przy umowach inwestycyjnych.

Jestem zdania, iż sukces tej propozycji będzie oznaczał nową erę dla międzynarodowego prawa inwestycyjnego na całym świecie, ale nie można w tej chwili stanowczo stwierdzić, że wielostronny trybunał będzie instytucją lepszą czy gorszą, chociaż zazwyczaj instytucjonalizacja i mechanizm odwoławczy sprawiają, że rozwiązywanie sporów staje się jeszcze droższe.

 
  
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  Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – Nos últimos anos, a inclusão da resolução de litígios entre os investidores e o Estado (RLIE) nos acordos de comércio e investimento tornou-se alvo de uma maior preocupação e de intervenção público. Alguns dos problemas identificados decorrem da RLIE, que assenta nos princípios de arbitragem. Estes problemas referem-se, designadamente, à pouca ou nenhuma legitimidade, coerência e transparência da RLIE, bem como à ausência de possibilidades de reexame. A institucionalização deste sistema de resolução de litígios em matéria de investimento nos acordos comerciais e de investimento da UE através da inclusão do sistema de tribunais de investimento (STI) representa mais um passo na criação de um tribunal acima dos estados nacionais e acima da soberania dos povos. Serve os interesses das empresas multinacionais que deveriam sujeitar-se às leis nacionais dos países onde operam, tal como o fazem a generalidade das pessoas e das pequenas e médias empresas.

 
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