How is big business using the EU's trade and investment agreements to sideline people, planet and democracy?
The EU member state vote on the EU-Japan trade agreement is close, but not all interest groups had an equal say when the deal was hashed out. Official figures from the European Commission show that big business had many more meetings with the EU trade negotiators than small businesses, trade unions and other civil society actors did.
On the occasion of the International Day of Farmers' Struggle, we have jointly with allies prepared five short visions for a sustainable, healthy and fair food and trade policy to restart this important debate.
Following calls for openness and public participation, the European Commission now advertises its trade negotiations as transparent and inclusive. But crucial information about EU trade deals are still kept from citizens. Even member state governments regularly complain about being left in the dark. At the same time, corporations continue to call the shots on EU trade talks.
91 per cent of meetings held by UK trade ministers (10/2016 - 06/2017) and 70 per cent of meetings held by UK Brexit ministers have been with business, too often big business, interests. This corporate bias in ministerial access is part of an ongoing trend.
Brexit could become a cash cow for law firms that make millions when corporations sue nation states via trade and investment agreements. They're paving the way for Brexit-related corporate claims against the UK & touting the UK as a gateway for future investor claims against EU member states.
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