The European Parliament Trade Committee decided on Monday (29 June) to give a non-binding resolution on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) a second vote in plenary.
MEPs agreed to submit the proposal with its 116 amendments, some of which were introduced just before the vote in plenary earlier this month, causing its postponement.
“Today’s vote was a necessary step we had to take in committee to prepare the TTIP resolution to be put forward to vote in a future plenary session,” said Trade Committee Chair and rapporteur Bernd Lange, after the vote.
The Lange report, which was adopted by the Committee on International Trade (INTA) on 28 May, has been heavily modified, as members of all the political groups try to reflect growing public opposition to the trade deal.
Much of the discord focuses on how companies settle disputes through extra-legal private arbitration. Some lawmakers fear that US multinationals will challenge European laws on grounds that they restrict free commerce, subordinating national laws to the market.
A compromise on ISDS was struck after a fierce horse-trading between political parties accepting that the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement, albeit reformed, would remain part of the deal.
>>Read: MEPs give passing vote to TTIP
But the compromise was put back into question, when the S&D group said it would never accept any kind of private arbitration, as the EU and the US have reliable national courts which should be the regular venues to solve any dispute.
>>Read: Parliament’s vote in limbo
New amendments were then submitted to the plenary, which prompted European Parliament President Martin Schulz to postpone the vote, in order to avoid the public embarrassment of having the resolution defeated.
Sources told EURACTIV that Lange is still trying to talk to the other political groups to see if there is some wording that would allow S&D to stick to its goal of overcoming private arbitration (ISDS), but leave room for the Commission to come up with an alternative.
Now the baton passes to the Parliament Conference of Presidents, who are supposed to decide whether or not the Lange report goes to the plenary in July, or wait until Fall.