Battle For Corporate Investment Rights
Investment proposals will cost taxpayers - Spanish MEP Zalba Bidegain again happy to act as a puppet for outside interests
Brussels, 31 March 2011 – EU member states – and taxpayers – are risking legal action from foreign companies as a result of new international investment policies currently being discussed by the EU. A new report by Corporate Europe Observatory, Investment Rights Stifle Democracy, highlights how industry lobby groups, law firms and member states acting in their interest have manipulated proposals in order to weaken safeguards for governments and citizens .
Next week, MEPs are due to vote on a report from the Parliament’s international trade committee (INTA) about Europe’s international investment policy – giving guidelines for the rights of foreign investors under future EU trade deals. The vote follows fierce attempts by law firms, industry and member states to enshrine the right of foreign investors to challenge national laws that affect their profits. As a result, European member states could soon find domestic laws challenged by foreign companies – and politicians will have no powers to intervene.
Mella Frewen, lobby chief at food industry lobbygroup FoodDrinkEurope (previously known as the CIAA) and former Monsanto employee was on the list of 14 potential candidates, from which 7 will have to be selected to replace half of the EFSA management board members this summer. Frewen has been the chief lobbyist at FDE since 2007 where she actively lobbied for instance to allow contamination of the food chain with genetically engineered plants which were not authorised in Europe.
The European Parliament is expected to formally approve the new Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, on hedge funds and private equity funds in November 2010. This article provides a short history of the lobbying war waged by the investment fund lobby and shows how hedge funds and private equity funds and their lobby groups managed to fight and win what has been the first really open political battle on financial regulation in the history of the European Union.
Corporate Europe Observatory
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making.