European Parliament, Brussels
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 13:30
This panel debate will explore how investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms (ISDS) within investment and trade agreements can have a potentially harmful impact on access to medicines and tobacco control measures. The panel debate will also cover how to ensure that European Union trade and investment policies pursued in current and future free trade agreements do not undermine legitimate public health measures in negotiating partner countries.
ISDS cases have shown that a government’s ability to make and maintain strong laws to protect public health and the environment is under threat. ISDS clauses in free trade and investment agreements have resulted in measures protecting the public interest being challenged in secretive, offshore tribunals where national laws have no weight and politicians have no powers to intervene.
Among the record-breaking 514 cases corporations have brought against sovereign governments by the end of 2012, notable examples include the international tobacco giant Philip Morris suing the governments of Uruguay and Australia for introducing plain cigarette packaging.
This debate is especially relevant in light of current negotiations between the EU and the US, Thailand and India, as well as the recently agreed FTA with Canada, the first ever EU FTA to include an investment chapter.
The event is hosted by: Linda McAvan (S&D) and Carl Schlyter (Greens)
In cooperation with the Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B), MSF Access Campaign & the European Public Health Alliance. Corporate Europe Observatory is a member of S2B network.