James Crisp. Freelance journalist in Brussels.

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Commission swamped by 150,000 replies to TTIP consultation

Anti-TTIP protest in Brussels. 18 July 2014. [Joel Schalit].

Anti-TTIP protest in Brussels. 18 July 2014. [Joel Schalit].

About 150,000 people have responded to the European Commission’s online consultation on the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

In January, the EU executive stopped trade negotiations with the US on the ISDS mechanism. It launched the online consultation in March after widespread criticism of the clause, which will allow EU and US based corporations to directly sue governments at international tribunals.

The online consultation sparked “very substantial interest”, the commission said. More than 99% of the 149,399 replies came from individuals, with a particularly large number submitted in collective actions by civil society organisations.

The commission said it would analyse the replies before it explained the next steps it would take.  That is unlikely to happen before November, it added.

Most replies were from the United Kingdom (52,008), followed by Austria (33,753), Germany (32,513), France (9,791), Belgium (9,397), the Netherlands (4,906) and Spain (2,537).

The recent public consultation into the review of EU copyright rules, which closed in March this year, only had about 9,500 replies. More than 11,000 messages to a dedicated email address were also recorded. The Commission said it had “generated broad interest”. In a press release on Friday (24 July), the executive said it was, “one of the highest response rates ever for a Commission consultation”.

A 2013 public consultation, lasting three months, into whether the EU should regulate fracking – the extraction of shale gas – generated 22,000 replies, a figure dwarfed by the TTIP response.

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2014 by in Journalism, TTIP and tagged , , , .

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