On 22 February, the EU and USA will meet for the 12th negotiating round of TTIP. Public procurements will be on the agenda, and the European Parliamentary Labour Party will keep a close eye to ensure that new EU rules securing the use of social and environmental criteria in public contracts will be respected. Following the conclusion of the round on 26 February, the European Commission will publish a detailed report on its website.
Meanwhile, the controversy over secret tribunals for investors continues. In response to pressure from MEPs and civil society, the Commission dropped its ISDS proposal and came up with a new mechanism: ICS, the Investment Court System. This would be a permanent international public court, rather than a ad-hoc tribunal. But this proposal is also attracting a lot of criticism, and was recently rejected by the German Magistrates Association. Labour MEPs remain opposed to any kind of private arbitration mechanism.
Another trade negotiation has attracted all lot of interest: the Trade in Services Agreement or TISA. Jude has been leading the response of the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament to these negotiations. On Wednesday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution setting out MEPs' redlines: a full exclusion of public services, no more limitations to the right of public authorities to regulate in the public's interest, extensive protection for data privacy and new rights for workers.