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Stop ISDS campaign 2019

The UK government will shortly bring new EU rules on industrial espionage into law. But civil society is concerned that these new rules risk creating a chilling effect on future corporate whistle-blowers and those who report their stories.

Lobbying by the arms industry has been playing an increasingly influential role in EU policy-making and the EU's plans to start funding 'defence' research and development.

The European Commission proposal on scientific criteria defining endocrine disruptors (EDCs) is the latest dangerous outgrowth of a highly toxic debate. The chemical lobby, supported by certain Commission factions (notably DG SANTE and the Secretary-General) and some member states (UK and Germany), has put significant obstacles in the way of effective public health and environment regulation.

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This year provides a rare opportunity to end some of the most outrageous rights enjoyed by big business: the investor-state dispute settlement system or ISDS. 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. 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.

Fresh opposition has been voiced against a highly controversial EU policy negotiation overseen by the new Romanian EU Presidency in the coming weeks: 160 mayors, parties, trade unions and NGOs, including Corporate Europe Observatory, today wrote to the Presidency to underline their strong concerns about the ‘Services Notification Procedure’.

Coal garnered much media attention, thanks to the Polish Government and US President Trump’s support. But it was the gas industry that really stunk up the conference, its influence seeping into all corners of the negotiating halls. Luckily activists and communities were present to call industry out and demand real solutions.