Today the leader of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, pushed for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) report to be voted on in the Parliament's plenary session next week.
The author of the parliamentary report, S&D MEP Bernd Lange, this week brokered an agreement on the only standing issue for this report to have a majority in the European Parliament: the question of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism (ISDS) in the trade agreement.
The compromise negotiated by Bernd Lange will oblige the Commission to exclude ISDS from the trade agreement and replace it by a public, democratic and transparent mechanism.
S&D president Gianni Pittella said:
"It is very important that the Parliament gives a strong mandate to the Commission when it negotiates with the United States. Once the resolution is adopted, the European Parliament's position will shape this very important trade and investment agreement, which has reached a crucial stage. This is why we wanted to vote on it as soon as possible.
"We are confident that the report will go through with all the S&D Group's demands: strong protection of labour rights and ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions; high environmental standards; protection of public services, and also protection of our food and health safety standards.
"ISDS is dead. We will demand that it is replaced by a new public and transparent system of investment protection in which private interests cannot undermine public policy and which is subject to public law."
The rapporteur and chairman of the trade committee in the European Parliament, Bernd Lange, said:
"We are already running out of time for the Parliament to have a strong position on TTIP and influence the negotiations between the European Union and the United States. Globalisation needs rules and it is our duty as politicians to deliver.
"This is a unique opportunity for the European Union to harness globalisation by introducing standards in international trade. Otherwise the world will move ahead without us having a say. We should not miss it."
Once the Commission has finished the negotiations between the US and the EU, the agreement will need the consent of the European Parliament before it comes into force.