While investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms have been a part of most new-age bilateral investment-treaties and the Energy Charter Treaty, they have generally not been part of trade agreements other than those negotiated by the USA. ISDS has been and continues to be a much contested provision; more recently concerns of private sector profit motives trumping legitimate public policy regulations have been on the rise, including in Europe on environmental regulations and food labelling issues. On the other hand, UNCTAD statistics reveal that use of ISDS measures have been on the rise in recent times, and EU investors accounted for over 52% of the cases during 2008-2012. This makes for a heated debate on the issue of investment protection measures in the context of the TTIP agreement currently under negotiation, especially given the partners’ fairly balanced relative economic weight.
In view of the above, the panel discussion will focus its deliberations on the rationale and stringency of the investment protection measures that should to be enshrined under TTIP, in order to the secure the right balance between protecting European investor interests and upholding governments' right to regulate in the public interest. Discussion will focus also on the implications of ISDS provisions on domestic law and juridical systems of the trade partners, on whether ISDS supports and reinforces domestic regulatory and dispute resolution processes or undermines them.
13.15 Lunch and registration
13.45 Welcome and introduction by Matt Dann, Secretary General of Bruegel
13.50 Panel discussion
- Frank Hoffmeister, Cabinet of DG Trade Commissioner
- Discussant: David Gaukrodger, Investment Division, OECD
- Discussant: Suparna Karmakar, Visiting Fellow, Bruegel
14.30 Floor participation and discussion
Event summary Download
OECD Background readings
- Investment Treaties as Corporate Law: Shareholder Claims and Issues of Consistency by David Gaukrodger
- Investor-State Dispute Settlement: A Scoping Paper for the Investment Policy Community by David Gaukrodger and Kathryn Gordon
- Venue: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
- Time: Tuesday 4 March 2014, 13.15- 15:15 (Lunch will be served at 13.15 before the event begins at 13.45)
- Contact:Matilda Sevón, Events Coordinator - matilda.sevon[at]bruegel.org