How is big business using the EU's trade and investment agreements to sideline people, planet and democracy?
Today, a European alliance of over 50 civil society organisations will launch the Alternative Trade Mandate pledge campaign, calling on European Parliament election candidates to make EU trade and investment policy serve people and the planet, not just the profit of a few large corporations.
March 10-14th saw the latest round of the highly controversial EU-US free trade negotiations take place in Brussels. But while the industry's 50 leading CEO's, known collectively as the European Roundtable of Industrialists, proclaimed it their responsibility to ensure the deal was passed 'with as little noise as possible', citizens from both sides of the Atlantic had other, rather noisier ideas for the Belgian capital.
A trade deal between the EU and the US risks opening the backdoor for the expansion of fracking in Europe and the US, reveals a new report by Corporate Europe Observatory and other groups. As part of the deal currently being negotiated, energy companies could be allowed to take governments to private international tribunals if they attempt to regulate or ban fracking and the dangerous exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels. Campaigners are urging the EU not to include such rights in trade deals.
While Commissioner De Gucht claims that “there is nothing secret” about the ongoing EU-US trade talks, notes of Commission meetings with business lobbyists released to CEO under the EU’s freedom of information law were heavily censored.
The European Commission's freeze in negotiations over dangerous corporate rights in the EU-US trade deal (TTIP) announced this week is an important first success for the growing anti-TTIP movement. But a closer look at the Commission’s line shows that it might just be a smart trick to dispel concerns.
The European Commission has repeatedly promised civil society that the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the United States will not lead to a race to the bottom in terms of environmental protection, health and safety standards and consumer rights. The fear has always been that Europe would be forced to lower the bar to create a “level playing field” between the US rules and generally more robust EU regulations.
On 7 October, the second round of negotiations for a far-reaching transatlantic trade deal will begin in Brussels. Amidst calls for greater openness and public participation, the European Commission has gone into propaganda mode, promoting myths about the transparency and accountability of the talks. See through its feel-good rhetoric with Corporate Europe Observatory’s myth-busting guide to secrecy, corporate influence and lack of accountability in the transatlantic trade negotiations.
Yesterday Corporate Europe Observatory published a leaked document which carried a specific proposal from the European Commission on how to deal with “regulation” in the TTIP negotiations (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a trade agreement being negotiated between the European
As U.S. and EU trade officials meet in Washington this week for a third round of negotiations on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, nearly 200 environmental, consumer and labor groups have urged EU and US officials not to include an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in the deal. Corporate Europe Observatory is one of these groups.
In the light of the clear risks which the TTIP talks pose to environmental and health protection, it is crucial that the EU's lobby transparency register helps create full visibility around industry lobbying of TTIP talks. Only a mandatory register which requires comprehensive and reliable information about lobbying will shed light on corporate lobby pressure on the TTIP talks.
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