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Visions for a new food and trade system

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. Below you will find a brief summary of CEO's vision as well as links to the comprehensive text and the visions of the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, the European Milk Board, the European Public Health Alliance and Friends of the Earth Europe.

To sum up, Corporate Europe Observatory believes trade should serve public, not private, interests. We need a change of priorities that places the interests of farmers, consumers and the planet above the interests of multinationals and neoliberal trade. Food sovereignty should be respected, allowing countries and communities to prioritise local and regional food systems, choose what they eat, and make sure their community’s food is healthy and accessible to everyone. Trade negotiations should be open to public scrutiny and decisions should be made democratically. Privileged access to trade negotiations for corporations must end. Problems caused by the current ‘free trade’ dogma cannot be solved by simply another set of trade policies, but require the strenthening of social and environmental policies.

Our demands include:

- a binding UN treaty on transnational corporations and their subsidiaries to enforce human rights, including peasants’ rights and environmental rights.
- an extension of the mandate of the International Criminal Court that enables it to stop corporations from committing crimes against the environment ('ecocide').
- a legally-binding instruments against undue lobbying influence by corporations in trade policies and other policy areas at all levels. The public should have full access to negotiating texts when trade deals are being shaped.

You can download the overview text as well as all five comprehensive visions here:

- Overview of all visions: Trading Ideas for a New Food System

- Corporate Europe Observatory VISION

- European Milk Board VISION

- Friends of the Earth Europe VISION

- European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions VISION

- European Public Health Alliance VISION



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Stop ISDS campaign 2019

Two years after the suspension of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), EU member states and the European Commission are preparing mandates for new trade negotiations with the US. Once again corporate lobby groups are working to set the agenda for the talks, while the Commission covers over its links with big business.

Today, more than 60 international, European and national civil society groups have called on European decision makers to uphold the Paris Agreement and not mandate new trade negotiations with the USA.

"Wait a minute. I don’t really get what ISDS is. ...." Here is our straightforward "What is What" on Investor-State Dispute Settlement - and why it's so dangerous.

Under ISDS corporations and the rich have sued governments for billions of euros – for anything from introducing health warnings on cigarettes to banning dirty oil drilling. Citizens, campaigners and social movements are uniting in 2019 to put an end to this parallel justice system for big business.

Whenever a government passes a law which could potentially affect profits, the ISDS system enables companies to hit back with lawsuits for damages - often worth billions of euros. Under the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) system, corporations have already sued countries for anything from introducing health warnings on cigarettes to placing a moratorium on fracking.

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