Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Profiting from injustice

How law firms, arbitrators and financiers are fuelling an investment arbitration boom

A small club of international law firms, arbitrators and financial speculators are fuelling an investment arbitration boom that is costing taxpayers billions of dollars and preventing legislation in the public interest, according to a new report from the Transnational Institute and Corporate Europe Observatory.

Investment arbitration cases are brought by foreign investors against governments following alleged breaches of international investment agreements. Emblematic cases include tobacco giant Philip Morris suing Uruguay and Australia over health warnings on cigarette packets; and Swedish energy multinational Vattenfall seeking $3.7bn from Germany following that country’s decision to phase-out nuclear energy.

Profiting from Injustice uncovers a secretive but burgeoning legal industry which benefits from these disputes – at the expense of taxpayers, the environment and human rights. Law firms and arbitrators, who are making millions from investment disputes against governments, are actively promoting new cases and lobbying against reform in the public interest.

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Two separate developments on European regulatory issues – regulatory cooperation under TTIP and the "Better Regulation Agenda" – are set to introduce a new style of rulemaking in the EU, one that would introduce severe obstacles to anything that would against the interests of multinational corporations in the EU and the US. 

Les mêmes grandes entreprises à la manœuvre dans le tafta/ ttip et la COP21.

What do “COP21” and the ongoing EU-US trade negotiations, TTIP, have in common?

Despite the scandal surrounding Volkswagen’s rigged pollution measuring equipment and the flawed EU car test regime, the proposed EU-US trade deal (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP) is set to include rules on tests that could make a solution more difficult. EU negotiators are even moving in tandem with the very car industry that just lost all credibility.

As environment and energy ministers prepare to meet in Paris for the COP 21 climate change talks, CEO takes a look at how the revolving door ensures that the EU institutions remain close to Big Energy.

Join AITEC, ATTAC France, Corporate Europe Observatory, l'Observatoire des Multinationales and the Transnational Institute for a guided 'lobby tour' of Paris's climate criminals, with a special focus on the ongoing UN climate talks in the French capital, COP21.

Conflicts of interest in the field of energy and climate policy are being ignored by EU institutions allowing some of the world’s biggest polluters to potentially benefit from the know-how and contact books of top Brussels insiders, according to a new report.


The Corporate Cookbook

You would be forgiven for believing that the corporate world has had a change of heart and is now sticking to a strictly climate-friendly diet. Embracing low-carbon natural gas, a global carbon price, ‘net-zero emissions by the end of the century’ or ‘climate-smart agriculture’ are top of the menu. But peel back the PR and you reveal a business-as-usual recipe guaranteed to cook the planet.

Capturing COP21 - Corporate influence and the UN climate summit in Paris

The corporate lobby tour

Stop the Crop

Alternative Trade Mandate