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EU member state Slovenia expresses concerns about ISDS reforms

CerarEuropean Union member state Slovenia appears to have concerns about the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Given this, there is reason to be hopeful that these concerns would also extend to the ISDS provision in the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The Slovenian news service STA reports, “The Slovenian government is unhappy with the European Commission’s proposals on reform of the EU investment policy and the investment protection chapter in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).” Those proposals are intended to “reform” ISDS and make it more acceptable to its critics in order to secure its passage in EU member state national legislatures and the European Parliament.

A Government of Slovenia media release states, “Slovenia has substantive, general and scrutiny reservations concerning individual elements proposed by the European Commission as possible methods for reforming the EU’s investment policy and the investment chapter in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). …In Slovenia’s view, the [European Commission document that includes a reflection on investment policy and on the establishment of a permanent international investment court] does not significantly upgrade the existing system for protecting investments and raises several questions.”

Their statement adds, “…Investment policy is not a matter for the EU. Several crucial areas of protection and the regulation of several types of investment are still within the competence of EU member states. Therefore, investment agreements and free trade agreements that include provisions on the protection of investment have shared jurisdiction and must be ratified both by the European Parliament and national parliaments.”

The Slovenian government will next take its position on ISDS to the National Assembly.

The Central European country, located to the east of Italy, joined the European Union in 2004. It is a parliamentary democracy led by prime minister Miro Cerar of the Modern Centre Party. His party holds 36 of the 90 seats in the Slovenian National Assembly. Slovenia also has eight seats in the European Parliament.

Along with Slovenia, the governments of Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, Greece and Belgium have also expressed concerns about ISDS. It is also believed that Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg, Belgium and Italy have concerns about the ISDS provision. More on that here.

For information on the Council of Canadians campaign to stop CETA, please click here.

Further reading
MEPs and EU trade ministers reject Malmstrom’s ISDS reforms (May 2015 blog)

Photo: Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar.