Investment protection and arbitration is one of the most controversial issues included in trade and investment agreements. It undermines democracy and governments’ rights to regulate in the interest of people and the environment. It also costs millions of euros of public money.
Current investment protection treaties undermine the capacity of governments to regulate in favour of health, men’s and women’s livelihoods and survival mechanisms, environmental rights and the environment. For example, measures taken by governments to halt fracking, phase out nuclear power, or stop contaminating mining projects have been the target of multi-million dollar lawsuits by corporations.
It is very important to address investors’ rights enshrined in international investment protection agreements, in particular investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms. FGG will address EU investment agreements with Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as with the US and Canada. Like with TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), CETA (Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement) is expected to become the model for future EU treaties with developing countries.
FGG will explore the consequences of Dutch investment treaties and Dutch policies that promote foreign investment. FGG will pay particular attention to the arbitration system by highlighting key investor-state disputes that have impacted negatively on human rights or the environment.
International legal regime
Tackling the impacts of investment protection and arbitration will enhance the policy space for countries to pursue sustainable development thereby helping to improve existing and future trade and investment policies. At the same time, together with Southern partners, we will promote an international legal regime governing investments that contributes to democratic decision making and inclusive development. This will include obligations for investors and rights for citizens and communities, and will include food sovereignty, gender justice and regional and local economic linkages.