EarthMedia | 10 September 2014
Ask Foreign Policy Ministers to exempt ISDS from CETA open letter
URGENT message #No2ISDSinCETA
HERE ARE THE LINKS TO THE DRAFT LETTERS: SHARE THIS PAGE PLEASE.
Please find below a draft letter to heads of state or trade ministers of EU Member States. It can be sent ahead of the Sept .12 meeting of the EU Trade Policy Committee where Member States have the *final* opportunity to comment on the CETA text.
We call on them to take ISDS out, or otherwise not to sign the CETA*.
Of course, you can adapt the letter to your positions and work. It is important to send them early next week!
* EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
To: Prime minister / President / Minister in charge of trade
Re: Request to reject inclusion of ISDS in Canada trade agreement
[Your city], September –, 2014
Dear [name of head of state or trade minister] ,
On September 25, the European Commission and the Canadian government are planning to initial the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) at an event in Ottawa, Canada. The text for this trade deal includes a proposal for an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause.
ISDS is an increasingly controversial issue. Many voices, including representatives of EU Member States, have expressed concern about ISDS and argued that there is no need to include this mechanism in EU trade agreements with the US or Canada. We believe that ISDS gives excessive rights to foreign investors vis-à-vis the rest of society and discriminates against domestic investors. ISDS undermines the ‘right of governments to regulate’ and it circumvents existing court systems. It relies on broad interpretations by for-profit arbitrators with significant conflict of interest issues, with no possibility to rely on jurisprudence or an appeal mechanism. The reforms of the ISDS mechanism, proposed by the Commission, do not alleviate concerns about the fundamental flaws of the system, nor about its abuse by companies. In the context of the EU-Canada and the EU-US deals, ISDS is particularly not needed.
In January this year, the European Commission announced a public consultation on ISDS. Between March and July, some 150,000 citizens contributed to the consultation. An overwhelming majority expressed very clearly that they don’t want ISDS to be part of the trade agreement being negotiated with the US .
Even though the Commission has not yet finished analysing the contributions to the consultation, it decided to move ahead with this highly controversial mechanism and included it in the CETA agreement that is expected to be signed at the end of this month. We believe it would give an extremely worrying signal to European citizens if the opinion of those that took part in the consultation is ignored. It will only fuel the perception of many that the Commission is not listening to citizens.
On September 12, the EU Trade Policy Committee will meet in Brussels to discuss and agree on the CETA text. This will be the last opportunity for Member States to give their opinion on the draft final text of the agreement.
Considering the strong and legitimate concerns about ISDS and considering that the Commission is still analysing the results of its public consultation, we are asking you at this meeting to insist that the Commission removes the ISDS mechanism from the CETA agreement, and if the Commission is not willing to do so, that your country does not give its support to CETA.
If you have any further questions, please contact: xxxx
[Name and function]
Taoiseach Enda Kenny: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore: email@example.com
Lord Livingston: firstname.lastname@example.org
José Manuel García-Margallo: Informae@maec.es
Erkki Tuomioja: email@example.com
George Vella: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ioannis Kasoulides: email@example.com
Didier Reynders: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Asselborn: email@example.com
Urmas Paet: firstname.lastname@example.org
Linas Linkevicius: email@example.com
Karl Erjavec: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank-Walter Steinmeier: email@example.com
Radoslaw Sikorski: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristian Ivanov Vigenin: email@example.com
Titus Corlatean : firstname.lastname@example.org
Carl Bildt: email@example.com
Frans Timmermans: www.rijksoverheid.nl/ministeries/bz
Miroslav Lajcák: firstname.lastname@example.org
Evangelos Venizelos: email@example.com
Tibor Navracsics: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sebastian Kurz: www.bmeia.gv.at
Martin Lidegaard: email@example.com
Vesna Pusic: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurent Fabius: email@example.com
Edgars Rinkevics: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rui Machete: email@example.com
Federica Mogherini: firstname.lastname@example.org
cc EU Commissioner for Trade, Karel de Gucht: