Civil society condemns EU’s anti-democratic ‘investor rights’ plan

22 February 2016 - 12:15am
Press release

War on Want today joined 280 civil society organisations from across Europe, US and Canada in calling on the EU and the US government to eliminate the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and its so-called replacement, the Investment Court System (ICS), from TTIP, CETA and all other trade agreements.  

The signed statement condemning the EU’s ‘rebranding’ of the old ISDS system comes ahead the 12th round of TTIP negotiations, which start today (22 February).The issue returns to the negotiating table after a two-year impasse.

John Hilary, Executive Director at War on Want, said:

“The EU’s rebranding exercise has changed nothing. This investment court proposal is an outrageous assault on our democratic rights and freedoms, and only multinational corporations stand to benefit from it.

“The people of Europe have consistently rejected these new powers for big business, and the EU must now listen or face the consequences.”

The European Commission received a record response when it consulted the people of Europe over whether they wanted ISDS.  More than 145,000 people rejected the system outright: over 97% of all respondents.

The new ICS does nothing to allay key concerns around the ISDS system.

  • ISDS and ICS give exclusive rights to foreign investors, thereby discriminating against domestic investors and communities, with no benefits to the wider society.
  • ISDS and ICS can force governments to use billions in taxpayers’ funds to compensate corporations for public health, environmental, labour and other public interest policies, government actions and even court rulings
  • ISDS and ICS are not subject to democratic principles and scrutiny. Parliaments will not be able to change the rules later on.
  • ISDS and ICS undermine the jurisdiction of European and Member State courts as foreign investors can by-pass them.
  • ISDS and ICS ignore the fact that European, US and Canadian legal systems are perfectly capable of handling disputes with foreign investors, based on the law that applies to everyone else in society.

 

Notes for Editors

For further information and interviews, contact John Hilary on +44 7983 550727 or Mark Dearn on +44 7804 289680.

Online public consultation on investment protection and investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) http://trade.ec.europa.eu/consultations/index.cfm?consul_id=179

Signed statement below:

Latest news

WATCH NOW: How garment workers are exploited

27 April 2017 - 5:00pm

War on Want’s Senior International Programmes Officer (Asia and the Pacific),Thulsi Narayanasamy, talks garment worker exploitation on 'Economic Divide'  (14 April 2017)

Read more

BDS is a legitimate means of protest against human rights abuse, says War on Want

27 April 2017 - 12:15pm

Campaigning for BDS is a legitimate means of protest, a fact that has been affirmed time and time again by bodies such as the European Union. It’s effectiveness is one of the main reasons why there is an organised campaign led by the Israeli government to shut it down. Students have every right to use their democratic rights to organise and exercise freedom of expression, and should be applauded for calling out violations of international law and human rights abuse.

Read more

Join the conversation

RT @protestencil: Students and staff @SOAS voted overwhelmingly for #BDS , so of course want #ApartheidOffCampus https://t.co/aISTOT0eJO 17 hours 12 min ago
@WarOnWant in solidarity on 28 April with all those killed at work #WorkersMemorialDay Poignant as we commemorate 4th Anniv of Rana Plaza 19 hours 50 min ago
Political prisoners hunger strike, day 11 'Palestinians launch general strike to support protesting prisoners' https://t.co/a6AxaURnTX 21 hours 15 min ago