The VCI on the EU Commission’s reform proposals for investor protection under TTIP

Take up proposals and reform mechanisms

The existing dispute settlement mechanism for international free trade agreements (Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement/ISDS) has weaknesses. For this reason, the German chemical industry association VCI welcomes the cornerstones for an ISDS reform within TTIP as recently presented by EU Trade Commissioner Malmström. In the long run, however, VCI President Marijn Dekkers sees a permanent, internationally recognised investment tribunal as the best answer to the concerns of the public.

VCI President Dekkers: “In the long run, it would be our ideal solution to have a permanent, internationally recognised investment tribunal. This would be the best answer to the concerns of the public.” - Photo: © VCI/Mendel
VCI President Dekkers: “In the long run, it would be our ideal solution to have a permanent, internationally recognised investment tribunal. This would be the best answer to the concerns of the public.” - Photo: © VCI/Mendel

The existing dispute settlement mechanism for international free trade agreements (Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement/ISDS) has weaknesses.

For this reason, the German chemical industry association VCI welcomes the cornerstones for an ISDS reform within the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); these ideas were recently presented by Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to the European Parliament and the European Union Trade Ministers.

VCI President Marijn Dekkers said in Brussels: “Globally operating companies need a legal framework that protects investments against expropriation and discrimination – this holds true for mid-sized enterprises and large company groups. But at the same time, it should be ensured that states are not limited in their shaping of policies and in their roles as regulators. The Commission has taken a good path by giving consideration to the proposals from the civil society. TTIP is an opportunity to modernise the existing ISDS system and to set high standards for future agreements with developing and emerging countries. Giving up ISDS would be a wrong strategy for more global trade without barriers and a wrong signal for companies willing to invest.”

From the VCI’s viewpoint, an ISDS reform should precisely define the protection standards and establish an appellate body. But the ISDS system needs to become more transparent overall. Dekkers: “The new proposals submitted by German economics minister Gabriel in Brussels are setting the right course. For example, a permanent institution with two entities and the possibility of revision, or a transparent appointment of judges.” According to Dekkers, additionally applying the-loser-pays principle would prevent a frivolous use of ISDS.

Dekkers emphasised that a reform of investor protection within TTIP should only constitute an intermediate step: “In the long run, it would be our ideal solution to have a permanent, internationally recognised investment tribunal. This would be the best answer to the concerns of the public.”


The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2014 the German chemical industry realised sales of more than 193 billion euros and employed 444,500 staff.

Contact: VCI Press Dept., Phone: +49 69 2556-1496, E-Mail: presse@vci.de
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VCI's most important arguments and positions regarding the topic TTIP PDF 81 Kb

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E-Mail: udwari@vci.de

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