Action: Call on MEPs to firmly reject special rights for foreign investors!

NO 2 ISDS | May 2015


In the next weeks, the European Parliament is going to determine its positions on the trade deal between the EU and the US (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP) that is currently being negotiated.

The European trade officials plan to make special rights for foreign investors and in particular an “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) part of TTIP. Two upcoming votes in the Trade Committee and the Plenary are a unique opportunity for the European Parliament to send a clear and strong signal to the EU negotiators that ISDS must not be part of TTIP.

Special rights for foreign investors are unacceptable

The TTIP negotiations have led to serious criticism by trade unions, consumer, environmental, health and other civil society organisations because of the negative impacts the agreement may have on workers, consumers and the environment. A particular cause of concern is the planned ISDS mechanism that would give foreign investors more rights than anyone else in society.

ISDS empowers foreign investors to bypass national court systems and sue states through private arbitration tribunals. It allows them to challenge laws, regulations and court decisions if they can be alleged to reduce the value of their investment (including reducing expected profits). It thus limits the capacity of democracies to pass laws to protect labour and human rights, as well as safeguards for our health and environment. Furthermore, ISDS arbitrations are carried out behind closed doors with corporate (for-profit) arbitrators, who are not accountable to the public and have a commercial interest in keeping this harmful system alive. The only ones who benefit from the ISDS system are lawyers representing companies and investors who get around laws and regulations.

From a democratic point of view ISDS is completely unacceptable. It gives foreign investors wider property rights and the possibility to circumvent national court systems, which puts our legal systems into question. The proposed reforms of ISDS would not change these fundamental problems: ISDS would still give foreign investors privileges compared to anyone else in society.

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Take action and ask the Members of the European Parliament to firmly say NO to ISDS and stand with the vast majority of citizens against ISDS and any special rights for foreign investors.

Urge them to support the following pledge:

“I reject special rights for foreign investors and in particular any investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in TTIP. I will vote against any resolution that fails to firmly reject special rights for foreign investors and an investor-state dispute settlement.”

Take action here

source: NO 2 ISDS!