Lora Verheecke, Pia Eberhardt, Cecilia Olivet, Sam Cossar-Gilbert
24 June 2019
Multi-billion dollar lawsuits bleeding cash-strapped nations, corporations reversing victories by environmental defenders and dazzling financial rewards for investors who perpetrated human rights abuses. Ten investor-state lawsuits which have been filed, threatened or decided since 2015, from all over the globe (in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America), demonstrate that ISDS is again and again used as a corporate weapon against the public interest. This report exposes the true nature of the ISDS regime through 10 recent stories.
The Indigenous populations of the Peruvian Amazonia started a general and peaceful strike for almost 60 days to protest against 10 legislative decrees promoted by the Peruvian Government in order to comply with the Free trade Agreement (FTA) with US that threatens their rights and their environment. More specifically, the FTA with the US permits oil and mining companies to enter 44 out of 75 million hectares of Amazonian forest, which are Indigenous territories, without any kind of agreement or even consultation.
This week, representatives of around 100 countries are meeting in New York to talk about investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). ISDS is a legal instrument that multinationals can use to sue governments for billions. External experts and observers fear that the new negotiations will amount to ‘old wine in new bottles’. They believe that those who benefit from this instrument (powerful states and top lawyers from the ISDS sector) are controlling the debate.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega regional trade deal involving sixteen nations from Asia-Pacific. RCEP will impact the lives of billions of people, from the quality of the food they eat to the energy they consume and the affordability of life-saving medicines. Yet, RCEP negotiations are being conducted almost completely in secret, with limited to no meaningful public participation. Most elected officials have, at best, limited access to the negotiating texts, which remain out of reach for civil society.
This statement has been developed jointly by Indonesian and European civil society organisations, who believe that an EU-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) must first of all be approached as a means to serve the public interest.
Geocide is the collective action of a single species among millions of other species which is changing planet Earth to the point that it can become unrecognisable and unfit for life. But we still have a chance; human beings can overcome even threats as terrifying as geocide, says Susan George.
This report focuses on the significant threats to precautionary environmental, labour, consumer and public health policy from regulatory cooperation and “good regulatory practices” chapters within the EU-Canada Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), US–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), and the currently parked EU-U.S Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
What drives the negotiations for an Indonesia-Europe Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in relation to investment? What would be the merits of the alternative investment protection frameworks as proposed by Indonesia? Will it be more effective in promoting a more equitable and sustainable development?
Transnational Institute (TNI), Institute for Policy Studies
25 January 2017
The Institute for Policy Studies and Transnational Institute welcome the Dutch trade minister’s call for a reset of trade negotiations to better link the trade and investment agenda to equitable and sustainable development objectives. At the same time, we urge all stakeholders involved in the EU-Mexico FTA negotiations to replace the current far-reaching liberalisation and deregulation agenda with an agreement that regulates investment in accordance with human rights, social standards, environmental protection, climate conservation and other sustainable development objectives as overriding principles. Read the letter, which includes our concerns and recommendations, below:
In the volatile and fragile context of Myanmar's nascent democratic reform, investment protection treaties must not be allowed to negatively affect processes that would make Myanmar more peaceful and democratic.
Charles Santiago, Helmut Markov, Ignacio Garcia Bercero
04 May 2009
"ASEAN should build a different kind of regionalism and not sign bilateral Free Trade Agreements with the EU", says Malaysian MP Mr. Charles Santiago in Brussels in a debate with Mr. Bercero, chief negotiator for the EU in the EU-Korea FTA and Mr.