Pia Eberhardt describes how corporate lobbies and think tanks have gone on what appears to be a concerted attack against NGOs and other groups opposing new free trade and investment deals, and Corporate Europe Observatory's report Blaming the Messenger
Chinese investments in Europe have surged in recent years, totaling €35 billion in 2016. This paper examines the nature and scope of Chinese investments, how investments in Europe differ to those made in the Global South, why the Chinese state is interested in investing in the Europe and the implications for social movements committed to social justice.
Last year the European Commission announced plans to establish a Multilateral Investment Court (MIC) in its attempt to reform the investment arbitration system, known as ISDS. However, the proposal has received little public scrutiny so far. Now five civil society organisations are organising a public event with international experts to discuss the MIC and examine alternative approaches.
As the EU starts to negotiate new budgets from 2020 onwards, there is an important opportunity to shape EU security policy and research so that it prioritises human rights, democracy, transparency and equality.
Despite the economic crisis, EU funding for new security tools and technologies will double in the 2014-20 period compared to the previous 6 years. The biggest winners have been the “homeland security” industry whose influence on European policy continues to grow, constructing an ever more militarised and security-focused Europe.
This paper focuses on how the global economic crisis unfolded in Europe, where a toxic mix of financial liberalization, highly-leverage banks, a poorly-planned euro and Germany’s years of structural adjustment created a deeply unbalanced and highly indebted European economy, that was brought into sharp focus as Wall Street banks collapsed. The result was the reversal of Europe's economic integration and a state of permanent crisis that continues to this day.
This briefing updates the July 2016 report ‘Border Wars: the arms dealers profiting from Europe’s refugee tragedy’ . It shows that the European policy response to the refugee tragedy continues to provide a booming border security market for Europe’s arms and security firms, some of whom are involved in selling arms to the Middle East and North Africa and all of whom encourage European policies focused on keeping refugees out. It’s a win-win for the security corporations, but the cost is a deadly toll for migrants forced into ever more dangerous routes as they flee wars, conflict and oppression.
The EU's reputation for clean and sustainable energy conceals a dirtier reality, particularly where renewable energy policies and development are driven by corporate interests. Today, nearly two thirds of all “renewable” energy in the EU comes from bio-energy. Although bio-energy appears to provide a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, there are serious questions about its actual emissions profile, and about environmental and social conflicts which are created or exacerbated by the industrial-scale production of biomass to meet European energy needs.
The European Union’s approach to bioenergy is shaped by contradictory policies. Climate concerns are highlighted in public discourse and assure broad public support for renewable energy, including bioenergy. Meanwhile, however, the EU’s corporate growth and trade agenda promotes the use of energy that actually increases the EU’s footprint on land elsewhere, with significant implications for environmental and social justice.
In Europe, land speculation and land concentration are an increasing threat to small and medium sized family farms and new entrants. Soaring land prices make it increasingly difficult for farmers to have access to land. In the meantime, investors are buying up enormous pieces of land, sometimes using legal loopholes. Land is increasingly becoming a globally tradable commodity and an object of financial speculation. Examples such as Scotland and Andalusia, where arable land, pastures and forests are highly concentrated since centuries, show the negative effects for sustainable rural development and societies as a whole.