By Heini Järvinen

In light of the public consulation on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) launched by the European Commission in March 2014, and EDRi in collaboration with Access, Vrijschrift and Bits of Freedom, has created an answering guide.

The answering guide will help you go through the different questions asked by the Commission and provides guidelines on how to answer the 13 questions.

To view the full text of the consultation and to your it on the European Commission website, please click here.

ISDS is probably the most controversial known element of upcoming EU trade agreements (with Canada, the US, Singapore, and others). Investor-State Dispute Settlement gives multinational companies the right to sue states and challenge legislation before special tribunals if they believe their investments are being jeopardised or their expected profits undermined. It can also be used to threaten lawmakers with expensive legal cases, during legislative procedures. This power could be used to challenge reform of copyright and patent law, privacy protection, environmental or health policies.

The EU seeks to include this dispute resolution mechanism in the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated with the United States. While the consultation fails to address the crucial question whether or not ISDS is needed in TTIP, this is a unique opportunity to tell the European Commission what you think about ISDS.

The questions asked in this consultation are quite technical, but can easily be answered. The answering guide (here) will take you through the consultation and help you answer the questions asked by the European Commission. You can also use our online form to draft and save your answers before submitting them on the Commission website.

You have until 13th July 6th July (deadline postponed) to tell the European Commission what you think about ISDS.