S&Ds accept Malmström nomination but call on Juncker to clarify his stand on ISDS

commissioner-designate Malmström

Today the Socialists and Democrats backed the nomination of Cecilia Malmström in a vote of the all-party international trade committee, but now request a clarification from Commission president-elect Juncker on his stance on investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms (ISDS) ahead of the final vote on the full college of Commissioners.

The S&D Group yesterday requested a written explanation from Malmström on accusations that she had undermined the EU's negotiating position of the Data Protection Directive while she was home affairs commissioner. Ms Malmström today provided that written document to the international trade committee before the vote.

However, there is still a pending issue for the S&D Group: the Commission must clarify its position on ISDS in EU trade agreements. 

S&D president Gianni Pittella said:

“The S&D Group has some clear priorities: data protection and safeguarding EU laws from arbitrary dispute settlement mechanisms in trade agreements with third parties. These are at the heart of our concerns.

“This is why we welcome Malmström’s written explanation denying that she helped the US during the negotiation of the Data Protection Directive, but we call on Juncker to restate that he will stand by his word to the Parliament when he said in July that he does not want ISDS in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

"We reiterate our reliability and co-operation to Juncker. However, we will not go beyond our red lines."

S&D spokesperson on trade, MEP David Martin, said:

"Malmström showed competence and a reasonable grasp of international trade issues.

"However she has contradicted herself on the issue of ISDS.  Jean-Claude Juncker himself told the Parliament that he was concerned with this mechanism when he spoke to the plenary last July.

"So we expect him to personally explain what he intends to do with ISDS in EU trade and investment agreement before the Parliament votes on the college of Commissioners."

See also the press release from Malmström's hearing: Malmström must prove that she never undermined EU's position on data protection

Related documents 
Letter from Ms Malmström to S&D MEP, Bernd Lange