The Ecologic Institute continues to be actively involved in the debate on the ongoing negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its environmental impact. On 3 May 2014, Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, moderated a discussion on investor-state dispute settlement under TTIP at the Evangelische Akademie Loccum.
The event in Loccum was entitled Trading less consumer protection for more exports and brought together academic experts, NGO representatives, policy-makers and interested citizens. The focus was on cross-cutting mechanisms in TTIP; these are the planned investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms, allowing investors to bring claims over an alleged violation of investment protection clauses against the host state before an international inverstment tribunal, as well as mechanisms for regulatory coopration, such as oint standard-setting or mutual recognition of product safety tests.
Christiane Gerstetter chaired a sesssion entitled "Protecting investors rather than consumers? How can a special court for investors function while safeguarding consumers' rights?". There was wide consensus among panelists and participants that investor-state dispute settlement, as currently practised, is in urgent need of reform. However, there was disagreement on whether TTIP should be used as an opportunity for setting standards for better investor-state arbitration or whether it should be kept out of TTIP; the latter position was supported by the arguments that both the US and the EU are developed rule-of-law systems where investors are granted effective production before national courts and there are risks for domestic regulations arising out of such proceedings.