News / 17 July 2014

Juncker against controversial dispute settlement mechanism ISDS as part of EU-US trade agreement TTIP

Press release


Just before being elected president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker from Luxemburg, has spoken out against ISDS. The ‘Investor to State Dispute Settlement’ would be a part of the proposed EU-US trade agreement TTIP. It would deal with conflicts between investors that feel disadvantaged and states they hold responsible. Those conflicts would not be taken to regular courts but to a special dispute settlement tribunal.  Mr Juncker is clearly opposed to such a provision.

Juncker gave a speech explaining his views before the election and said: “Nor will I accept that the jurisdiction of courts in the EU Member States is limited by special regimes for investor disputes. The rule of law and the principle of equality before the law must also apply in this context.” [1]


Both ENDS, a Dutch NGO resisting ISDS as part of TTIP, is very pleased with Juncker’s point of view. Burghard Ilge, programme officer of Both ENDS: “We have read Juncker’s speech again and we are very happy we found this crystal clear statement. He stated literally that he will not accept that disputes between investors and governments are settled by a separate tribunal. This is a clear message to those who are negotiating TTIP at the moment.”


Juncker shared his opinions as part of the declaration on his position on the future of the new European Commission. The title: ‘A new start for Europe: My agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change.’


Burghard Ilge, Both ENDS: “Dealing with investor versus state conflicts by a special, non-transparent tribunal would mean that investors can circumvent the jurisdiction of regular courts in European countries. It is unacceptable that an EU-US treaty on trade weakens the judiciary in Europe. From now on Mr. Juncker’s clear statement makes it very unlikely that this will be included in the negotiations on TTIP.”


The negotiations between Europe en de United States on TTIP have started July last year in Washington. This week the sixth round of negotiations takes place in Brussels.



     The statement concerning ISDS can be found on page 7.

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