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58 items
  1. Pandemic profiteers

    Cecilia Olivet, Lucía Bárcena, Bettina Müller, Luciana Ghiotto, Sara Murawski
    20 April 2020
    Article

    The fact that we are marking the 1000th ISDS claim in the middle of a profound social and economic crisis should be a wake-up call. Just as the pandemic is revealing profound health inequities and the dangers of agroindustrial food systems, it is also showing the dangers of trade and investment systems that put corporate profits above health and life.

  2. Silent expansion

    • Pia Eberhardt, Cecilia Olivet
    15 April 2020
    Policy briefing

    The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has been exposed as the fossil fuel industry's powerful secret weapon to keep cooking the planet. It is now on the brink of a massive geographical expansion into Africa, Asia and Latin America, threatening to bind yet more countries to corporate-friendly energy policies. This briefing unpacks the risks for developing countries and the empty promises of those pushing for new countries to join.

  3. Impacts of investment arbitration against African states

    • Bettina Müller, Cecilia Olivet
    08 October 2019

    By the end of August 2019, African States had been hit by a total of 106 known investment treaty arbitration claims.  This represents 11% of all known investor-state disputes worldwide. Between 2013 and 2018, there has been an unprecedented boom of claims against African governments. During these last six years, they received more investor claims than the previous 20 years combined. This paper exposes how the international investment regime affects African countries.

  4. Red Carpet Courts

    • Lora Verheecke, Pia Eberhardt, Cecilia Olivet, Sam Cossar-Gilbert
    24 June 2019
    Report

    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.

    You can find the 10 stories online at 10isdsstories.org.

  5. One Treaty to rule them all

    • Pia Eberhardt, Cecilia Olivet, Lavinia Steinfort
    12 June 2018
    Report

    We know what we have to do to solve the climate crisis. We must keep coal, oil and gas in the ground. But the fossil fuel industry has a secret powerful weapon to keep cooking the planet: The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). It is on the brink of a massive geographical expansion into Africa, Asia and Latin America, threatening to bind yet more countries to corporate-friendly energy policies. Visit: www.energy-charter-dirty-secrets.org

  6. EU’s new trade deal with Mexico promotes CETA-style investors’ rights while ignoring human rights violations by multinationals

    Cecilia Olivet
    24 April 2018
    Article

    This weekend, the European Commission announced that the negotiations with Mexico to "modernise" their Free Trade Agreement have been concluded. A key feature of the “modernisation” process is the inclusion of a controversial investment protection chapter with the same characteristics as the one recently included in the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA).

  7. Impacts of investment arbitration against Latin America and the Caribbean

    • Cecilia Olivet, Bettina Müller, Luciana Ghiotto
    11 December 2017
    Report

    How fair is the investment arbitration system in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries? Are investor-state disputes balanced between national and corporate interests? LAC countries are among the most affected by the investment arbitration system, representing 28.6% of all known investor-state disputes around the world. In particular, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru account for 77.3% of the total number of claims against LAC countries. Analysis shows that the system so far heavily favours corporate interests. Investors have won in 70% of the cases brought against LAC countries. As a result, LAC States have already had to pay foreign companies 20.6 billion USD, which could cover Bolivia’s budget for health and education for four whole years.

  8. Myths and risks of the EU-Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement

    • Cecilia Olivet, Pietje Vervest
    21 September 2017
    Policy briefing

    As the signing of the EU-Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) draws near, concerns over the secrecy surrounding the agreement’s negotiations and the risks it poses abound, alongside many myths about its potential benefits.

  9. Why did Ecuador terminate all its Bilateral investment treaties?

    Cecilia Olivet
    25 May 2017
    Article

    On 16 May, Ecuador became the fifth country to terminate all its Bilateral investment treaties (BIT). Why did it make this decision? TNI researcher Cecilia Olivet, and president of the Ecuadorian Citizens Commission that audited the country’s investment protection treaties, shares her insider perspective.

  10. icon of Ecuador flag

    Auditing Commission to release report as Ecuador moves to terminate investment agreements

    Cecilia Olivet
    04 May 2017
    Press release

    (Quito/Amsterdam, 3 May 2017) A unique international audit commission that examined the benefits and costs of Ecuador’s investment protection treaties will publish its findings on Monday 8 May. The report is to be released 5 days after Ecuador’s National Assembly recommended the government to terminate 12 remaining Bilateral Investment Treaties.

  11. The Hidden Costs of RCEP and corporate trade deals in Asia

    • Cecilia Olivet, Kat Moore, Sam Cossar-Gilbert, Natacha Cingotti
    08 December 2016
    Report

    The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal under negotiation between 16 Asian countries would grant corporations exclusive rights to sue governments at international tribunals. This report reveals that investors have launched 50 lawsuits at secret international arbitration tribunals against governments negotiating the RCEP agreement for a total of at least $31 billion US dollars. These lawsuits provide a warning of the potential high costs of the proposed RCEP trade deal. RCEP will deepen the rights of investors and lock in place this system of privatised justice.

  12. CETA - Trading away democracy (2016 version)

    • Pia Eberhardt, Blair Redlin, Cecilia Olivet, Lora Verheecke
    19 September 2016
    Report

    The Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is much less known than its US-EU counterpart, TTIP,  but this report exposes how it still poses a serious threat to governments efforts to protect citizens and the environment.

  13. Who really won the legal battle between Philip Morris and Uruguay?

    Cecilia Olivet, Alberto Villarreal
    28 July 2016
    Opinion

    The tobacco giant has to pay $7m to the small South American nation in a dispute over cigarette adverts. But the case could still set a worrying precedent

  14. Mongolia’s experience with investment treaties and arbitration cases

    • Roeline Knottnerus, Cecilia Olivet
    30 June 2016
  15. Unmasked: Corporate rights in the renewed Mexico-EU FTA

    • Cecilia Olivet, Manuel Pérez-Rocha
    13 June 2016
    Report

    The EU and Mexico launch negotiations for a ‘modernised’ Free Trade Agreement. A key feature is the investment protection chapter which grants major multinational companies in Mexico and the EU the exclusive right to challenge democratic decisions taken by States, even when they were taken in the public interest. The report outlines six reasons of major concern.

  16. Signing away sovereignty

    • Cecilia Olivet, Jaybee Garganera, Farah Sevilla, Joseph Purugganan
    24 May 2016
    Report

    Mining firms have been one of the main corporate sectors worldwide to take advantage of investor-state dispute mechanisms to sue states for regulation of mining, having sued governments for a total of USD 53 billion so far. The Philippines, one of five countries worldwide with the highest overall mineral reserves, has a web of investment treaties which severely constrain the government's ability to regulate or close polluting mines. This legal straitjacket will become even tighter if the EU–Philippines Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proceed.

  17. Proposal to expand investors’ rights for all intra-EU investment will be the next nail in the coffin of European integration

    • Cecilia Olivet, Pietje Vervest
    19 May 2016
    Report

    Representatives of the governments of Austria, France, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands (AFFGN) tabled a proposal, in April, to establish “a multilateral agreement among the [EU] Member States […] which would replace and supersede pre-existing intra-EU BITs”. With this proposal, all EU investors would effectively be able to sue any member state at an international tribunal when they feel government regulations have undermined their (future) profits. This proposal undercuts the very basis of the European Union and is the best example of how the EU has become a vehicle for business rights at the expense of democracy.

  18. Investment Court System put to the test

    • Cecilia Olivet, Natacha Cingotti, Pia Eberhardt, Nelly Grotefendt, Scott Sinclair
    19 April 2016
    Report

    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.

  19. ISDS: Courting foreign investors

    • Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B), Cecilia Olivet, Marc Maes, Pia Eberhardt, Natacha Cingotti, Ante Wessels, Burghard Ilge, Peter Fuchs
    27 November 2015
    Report

    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.

  20. The UNASUR initiative

    Cecilia Olivet
    05 November 2015
    Multi-media

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