investment treaties

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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.
Some investment lawyers have rejected the allegations of "Profiting from Injustice", a report which looks at the role of law firms, arbitrators and third-party funders in the recent boom in lawsuits of foreign investors against states. This blog responds to their defence of the international investment regime, argueing that it is neither fair nor independent, but biased towards the interests of investors.

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The plastics industry mounted a significant lobby campaign to influence the European Commission’s recent Plastics Strategy. Industry is now seeking to unpick or undermine key elements of the strategy through lacklustre or non-existing voluntary commitments, or outright opposition. With the Commission likely to publish its proposal to tackle single-use plastic products any day, will it adopt an ambitious approach towards binding regulations on industry?

Following the Cambridge Analytica affair and the massive leak of 87 million people’s data revealed earlier this year, Facebook is facing unprecedented scrutiny of its business model. Regulators must stop treating the social media giant as a trusted partner and better protecting EU citizens' digital rights.

In May 2017, the global biotech and seed industry lobby groups landed in Budapest for their annual congress. They launched a joint campaign with one key goal: to get governments worldwide to adopt a zero-regulation approach to new genetic modification (GM) techniques, often termed gene-editing techniques. The seed industry magazine SeedWorld stated that the timing of this international campaign is critical “as policymakers and governments around the world discuss plant breeding innovations, and if and how they should be regulated”.

Thanks to bottom-up pressure the European Union stepped back from supporting Trump and his big polluters’ agenda, but fell short of backing calls for a conflict of interest policy at the UN climate talks.