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.
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.
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.
Cecilia Olivet, Pietje Vervest, Giorgina Garibotto et al.
01 February 2013
This beginners' guide provides a critical perspective on EU’s trade and investment policies and the business interests they serve. TNI worked on the guide with a Europe-wide network of trade activists, belonging to the Seattle to Brussels network.
The EU's launch of negotiations for Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) with four Arab countries in transition – Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia - looks set to entrench an economic model that was one of the root causes of the Arab Spring.
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.
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.
Pietje Vervest, Timothé Feodoroff, Giorgina Garibotto et al.
06 March 2014
A briefing that explores how a trade agreement currently being negotiated between the US and the EU could open the way to multi-billion euro lawsuits from companies wanting to expand “fracking” for shale gas and oil.
In March 2014 the European Commission received the negotiation mandate from the EU member States to start negotiating an Investment treaty with Myanmar. But what do BITS mean in practice? Is it in the best interest of the Myanmar public?
The case of Newmont Mining vs Indonesia is a powerful example of how investment agreements are used by companies to get exemptions from government regulations and legislation, undermining democracy and development.
Citizens and policy makers around the world are increasingly questioning the trade agreement system, especially the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) that enables foreign investors to bypass the legal system of host states and sue governments before private tribunals for any policy, democratically passed law, or judgment of a court that adversely affects them.
Why should human rights, environmental and consumer advocate organizations all over the world that are working toward a world different from the corporate-led neoliberal dogma, pay special attention to TTIP?
Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries find themselves at a crossroad regarding their investment protection policies with the US. This briefing provides evidence that shows that including investment arbitration in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will worsen the capacity for CEE governments to regulate.