For a TTIP resolution that puts people, the environment and democracy before short-term profit and disproportionate corporate rights. 375 civil society organisations from across Europe call on EU decision-makers to protect citizens, workers, and the environment from the threats it poses.
In an astonishing move which ignores the opinion of millions of citizens who oppose ISDS, the governments of Austria, France, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands (AFFGN) have made a sly attempt to institutionalise ISDS throughout the European Union. According to a leaked non-paper, on the 7th April representatives of these five nations made a proposal to the EU Council’s Trade Policy Committee which would in effect create a plurilateral treaty based on foreign investment protection within the EU. A move which was suspiciously followed by publication of a similar proposal on Business Europe’s website in what appears to have been a coordinated action.
During the CELAC-EU President Summit in Chile, some Latin American governments rejected the inclusion in the final declaration of the proposed EU wording in support of providing foreign investors legal certainty. To understand why, we need to look at the industry behind investment arbitration.
Civil society organisations are writing to express deep concerns about the lack of transparency around the ongoing trade talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). They call on The European Commission to open the negotiation process to the public, by releasing the negotiating mandate, documents submitted by the EU, and negotiating texts.
Pietje Vervest is an economic anthropologist. She has specialised in the European Union's trade and investment agenda and in the international investment regime. At TNI she coordinates the Economic Justice Programme and the Myanmar in Focus Programme, is part of the Coordination Group of the Seattle to Brussels network and is the European anchor of the Asia-Europe People's Forum.
Corporations, backed by lawyers, use international investment agreements to scavenge for profits by suing Europe’s crisis countries. While speculators making risky investments are protected, ordinary people have no such protection and – through harsh austerity policies – are being stripped of basic social rights.
In the 2012 report Profiting from Injustice, jointly published by Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute, we boldly asserted that law firms, arbitrators and third-party funders have, over the past two decades, helped maintain an investor-biased arbitration system and have fuelled the rise in investor-state disputes.
In a letter to the president of the European Council, 240 European organisations ask him to withdraw the mandate for the European Commission to negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), with immediate effect.
Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B), Cecilia Olivet, Marc Maes, Pia Eberhardt, Natacha Cingotti, Ante Wessels, Burghard Ilge, Peter Fuchs
27 November 2015
The European Commission unveiled a draft text for a chapter on investment protection and investor to state dispute settlement – now called the Investment Court System - to be included in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US. This new system would replace the existing investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism not only in TTIP but also in all ongoing and future EU investment negotiations.
Cecilia Olivet, Natacha Cingotti, Pia Eberhardt, Nelly Grotefendt, Scott Sinclair
19 April 2016
The European Commission says that its new investment proposal –the Investment Court System - will protect governments' abilities to regulate on crucial matters such as public health and environmental protection. But analysis of five of the most controversial arbitration cases in recent years shows they could still be launched under the current proposal.
Demands for tax justice have resounded worldwide, with growing anger at the tax practices of corporations such as Google and Starbucks. Yet trade and investment agreements are already constraining the ability of governments to impose fair tax deals and with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) this could become worse.
For fairer and more democratic societies, people need to claim control over the EU’s trade and investment policy processes. We need to change EU’s trade and investment policies and the way in which decisions are made.