Brussels Daily
22 Nov 2018


Brussels Daily


Commissioner Malmström lays out EU plans for a multilateral investment court

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström today outlined how the EU is leading the way towards the multilateral reform of the investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) system. “States all over the world have identified problems with the current system. The EU believes that systemic reform is how we can address these concerns, with the creation of a permanent body to resolve disputes – a multilateral investment court,” said Commissioner Malmström at a High Level Event hosted by the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders, and attended among others by Anna Joubin Bret, the Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and Meg Kinnear, the Secretary General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). In her speech, Commissioner Malmström updated participants on the current state of discussions at the United Nations (UNCITRAL): over 400 delegates representing more than 90 countries gathered in Vienna three weeks ago agreed by consensus that reform of ISDS is needed. The EU has long argued that the current system is not fit for purpose and has integrated its new Investment Court System into its recent trade and investment agreements with Canada, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam. These agreements are crucial stepping stones towards multilateral reform of the investment system. A permanent multilateral investment court with an appeal mechanism and full-time adjudicators would enhance predictability and consistency, ensure correctness, eliminate the ethical concerns in the current system and effectively address the problem of excessive costs and duration. For more information on the state of play on the multilateral investment court, see the dedicated website.

Report finds growth potential for EU plant proteins in premium feed and food sectors, driven by consumer demand.

Today the European Commission adopted its report on the development of plant proteins in the European Union. The report reviews the supply and demand situation for plant proteins (such as rapeseed, sunflower seeds or lentils) in the EU and explores ways in which to further develop their production in an economically and environmentally sound way.

Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “Plant protein is an essential component of our European agri-food sector, which produces food and drink to the highest standards in the world. However, due to a variety of market and climatic factors, European protein crop production is not sufficient to cover the growing demand. In that regard, I also want to acknowledge the strong interest of the European Parliament in further supporting protein production in Europe. This report will serve as an important reference point for an EU-wide debate on how to chart a sustainable way forward, which cannot be done by the European Commission alone and requires the active input of all stakeholders.”  .

State of Health in the EU: more protection and prevention for longer and healthier lives

Today, the Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the 2018 Health at a Glance: Europe report. The report presents comparative analyses of the health status of EU citizens and the performance of the health systems in the 28 Member States, 5 candidate countries and 3 EFTA countries. It unveils that the steady increase of life expectancy has slowed down and that large gaps across and within countries persist. “While the life expectancy in the EU is among the highest in the world, we shouldn’t rest on our laurels. We should continue implementing policies that allow our citizens to live longer and in a better health. Many lives could be saved by increasing our efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and tackle risk factors such as tobacco or lack of physical activity.  It is unacceptable that every year in EU we are losing more than 1.2 million people prematurely when this could be avoided through better disease prevention and more effective health care interventions”, said Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. The report calls for improving mental health and preventing mental illness that not only cause terrible social consequences but are also estimated to amount to more than 4% of GDP across the EU. It also calls for preventing risk factors like smoking, alcohol and obesity, reducing premature mortality, ensuring universal access to care and strengthening the resilience of health systems. The evolution of EU health systems is captured in the report in terms of their effectiveness, accessibility and resilience, using the latest available data. With the State of Health in the EU cycle, the Commission responds to a need to build up country-specific and cross-country knowledge that can inform policies at national and European level. A press release is available in all languages here.

Read the European Commisison Daily News in full here

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