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Mediapart has questioned the five declared candidates for the presidency of the European Commission (EC) about their views on the increasingly controversial free-trade treaty currently under negotiation between the European Union and the US. This treaty, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), is still being negotiated but already it is attracting criticism over one of the key elements in the deal: the presence of a clause that would allow private companies to demand huge damages from member states if public policy changes adversely affect return on their investments. Largely unknown to the wider public, these are called Investor-State Dispute Settlements, or ISDS. Other key issues over the treaty include the level of protection given to consumers' personal data, and the transparency before the public of the negotiations themselves.
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