March 31, 2014

European Commission Comment Period on ISDS in the TTIP


The European Commission’s ISDS “consultation” for the TTIP globalization compact has been posted. ISDS = “investor-to-state dispute settlement”. That’s the NAFTA model whereby corporations directly sue governments over any law/regulation/court decision which allegedly affects their hypothetical profits. TTIP = “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”. Of course it’s not really about one cent’s worth of legitimate trade or investment. It’s only about corporate aggression.
This period of public comment, allowed by the EC under duress, as European civil society has been vigorously protesting the looming compact in general and the ISDS provision in particular, is both less and more democratic than a USDA or FDA comment process. On the one hand it’s an imposing, ponderous series of propaganda pieces touting the righteousness and benevolence of the globalization compact, each followed by a text box asking “what is your opinion of that?” This plus some initial questions seem calculated to intimidate a regular citizen. By contrast US comment forms are vastly simpler.
On the other hand, a motivated commenter is given far greater scope to refute the lies and condemn the premises in detail. A US comment form tries to induce a shorter, more general statement.
The comment period runs till June 21. Although I gather it’s supposed to be only for European citizens, I might post a comment anyway. By their own globalization logic, as well as by the fact that US citizens are necessarily just as affected as Europeans are by anything the EU does with this, we have full right to comment.
Many European citizens and democracy groups will comment, but far more important will be the publicity of rejection and resistance. The main goal among European democracy advocates is to pressure their European Parliament representatives, who must ratify the compact, to vote against it. If the EP votes it down, there will be no TTIP. Otherwise only massive civil disobedience could stanch it. Meanwhile I don’t think anyone expects the US congress to reject it.



  1. I am heading to Copenhagen on Wednesday evening. I will speak with my sister and her husband about commenting. They both have the equivalent of a green card in Denmark, and they know lots of Danish citizens they can get to write in. So, thanks for the heads up.

    Best regards,


    Comment by Scot Griffin — April 1, 2014 @ 2:30 am

    • Thanks Scot. Do you have those websites up yet?

      Comment by Russ — April 1, 2014 @ 4:42 am

      • I have reserved them and designed them, but I have not taken them live yet. There’s no content at the moment, in part to some family matters that have come up recently.

        Comment by Scot Griffin — April 2, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

      • I look forward to seeing them.

        Comment by Russ — April 2, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

  2. […] fellow blogger Russ at Volatility, who I think is American, tells us that there’s a consultation about ISDS in the TTIP. We in Europe are invited to give our […]

    Pingback by Trade across the Pond and a possible Brexit | Science on the Land — April 3, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

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