A clear and plain language guide to the EU's neoliberal investment regime, explaining both the social and environmental costs of prying open poor, vulnerable countries' economies, as well as outlining a number of ethical alternatives.
Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) allow transnational corporations to by-pass domestic courts and sue sovereign states - costing tax payers millions in legal expenses and preventing governments from acting in the best interests of their citizens.
Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) erode the ability of governments to act in the best interests of their citizens by allowing foreign investors to sue sovereign states when governments' social, environmental and economic regulations have affected their profits. TNI, as part of the Seattle to Brussels network, is campaigning for a Just EU Investment policy that puts corporate accountability and human rights above corporate profits!
Between 20 and 21 September 2011, 40 ASEAN campaigners and experts met in Manila to share knowledge and experiences, articulate common strategies and discuss alternatives to the current investment regime.
The secretive and lucrative world of international investment arbitration has enriched a small coterie of multi-billion dollar international firms, which actively promote and even help finance litigations against states and have fought fiercely to prevent changes to an unjust international investment regime.
Signing international investment treaties, in the hope of attracting foreign investments, has been a central strategy for governments looking to improve economic development. The less known side of this story is that by signing investment treaties, governments are giving away the sovereign right to regulate in the interest of people and the environment. They also expose themselves to the risk of spending millions in law suits that could have been used to serve public needs. It’s time that the dark side of investment is put under the spotlight.
Corporations in Western Europe are suing Central and Eastern European countries at international arbitration tribunals through a vast web of intra-EU Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). Yet while the European Commission has questioned the validity of these BITs, Netherlands, Germany, and the UK, oppose their termination.
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.
This briefing analyses leaked proposals for so-called investor-state dispute settlement under the proposed EU-US deal and reveals a determined lobby campaign from industry lobby groups and law firms to grant unprecedented rights to corporations to sue governments for legislation and regulations that interfere with their profits.
The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US will open the floodgate to multi-million Euro lawsuits from corporations challenging democratic policies to protect the environment and public health, argues a new briefing by Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute.