What does the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnerschip (TTIP) mean for our legal systems and our society? Several speakers will discuss this controversial treaty in the first edition of Food for Thought Lab from Young Erasmus.
Alessandra Arcuri, associate professor of International Economic Lac and member of Young Erasmus spoke about the most controversial elements of TTIP (the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, ISDS) at Studio Erasmus last week. ISDS gives companies the right to start an arbitrage transaction against the government. The idea behind this is simple, Arcuri explains. “We have development countries that do not have a very well developed legal system, and our investments there need protection. Instead of going to the local court system, you can go to an international arbitration. Countries will ratify this kind of treaty because they need the investments.”
Problemen van ISDS
Arcuri thinks thinks the ISDS will be problematic. “My main concern with ISDS is that it is particularly unbalanced. What is very peculiar is that the investor gets protection. But if the investor also brings benefits to the country, you would expect there are also rights for the state if something goes wrong. There is no such provision. There are examples from developing states where companies screwed up.”
Another danger according to Arcuri will be that countries will not consider to introduce new legislation that can have a negative effect for multinationals. “The fact that if a company can sue a government on legislation about topics as public health, environment, we may expect less of this kind of legislation. That will be a powerful instrument for lobbyists.”
TTIP and the future of the democratic state
Young Erasmus will be organizing a Food for Thought Lab about TTIP on Friday, the 16th of September. It will be held at the Athene-zaal at the Van der Goot building from 13.30 till 17.00 o’clock. Check here for more information.