Call to Action : ETUC Ask you to support ICS referral to ECJ

Brussels 16 November 2016


Dear Member of the European Parliament,

I am addressing you to ask you to support the initiative taken by many MEPs to refer the Investment Court system (ICS) of CETA to the European Court of Justice. The ETUC strongly believes that an opinion of the ECJ on ICS in CETA is needed even before the ratification process starts as it is in the interest of European citizens, workers and indeed, institutions to make sure that ICS is compatible with European law. We think that it is the responsibility of the European parliamentarians to make sure that this mechanism is legally sound and not just rely to the opinion of the European Commission, only the European judges can have a final word on this.  

The ETUC has a number of concerns with ICS, while we acknowledge the fact that ICS addresses some of the flaws in ISDS, we think that it would create a parallel legal system which is not necessary in the context of CETA, Canada and the EU all have advanced democratic and independent domestic legal systems. It also provides a special court for foreign investors to claim their rights that is not available to workers.

With CETA, the EU would introduce for the first time ever the investment court system in an EU trade deal. The Commission has made clear that it would include such a mechanism in many other trade agreements now under negotiation. Therefore, it is important that the ECJ could check ICS in detail before the consent procedure of the European Parliament.


Sincerely Yours,

Liina Carr

ETUC Confederal Secretary