Skriv under petitionen till Europeiska kommissionens ordförande, ordförandeskapet i Europeiska rådet, företrädare för EU: s medlemsstater och ledamöter i Europaparlamentet.
Vi är en allians med över 150 organisationer, fackföreningar och sociala rörelser, som kampanjar för ansvarsregler för företag, och mot Investor to State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), ett parallellt, ensidig och orättvist rättssystem för företag.
Den 22 januari 2019 lanserade koalitionen en europeisk framställan i 16 EU-medlemsstater, uppmanar EU-och europeiska regeringar att upphöra med företrädesrätten genom att dra tillbaka från befintliga handels- och investeringsavtal som innehåller ISDS-klausuler och att utesluta dem från framtida överenskommelser.
Kampanjen uppmanar också EU och medlemsstaterna att stödja uppnåendet av ett FN-bindande fördrag om multinationella företag och att nationell lagstiftning ska innehålla transnationella företag för att redogöra för brott mot de mänskliga rättigheterna.
Företagen har för mycket makt. Det är dags att ta tillbaka den från dem!
ISDS – KEY FACTS
- ISDS cases have led to awards of over $50 Billion USD from the public purse to private investors – more than the GDP of most nations.
- There has been an explosion of known cases in the last 20 years, from less than 10 in 1994 to 608 in 2014, of which 80% come from global corporations based in the US and Europe.
- US-based companies are by far the most frequent users, with twice as many cases as the country of the next largest users. Most cases are won by investors.
- Experts including Australia’s Chief Justice have raised serious concerns that ISDS is not independent or impartial.
- The ECJ recently ruled intra-EU ISDS cases are “incompatible with EU law.”
- The EU Commission’s public consultation on ISDS led to over 97% of respondents rejecting these corporate privileges.
- EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, recently described ISDS as “the most toxic acronym in Europe.” This is part of the reason why the EU is currently attempt to create new acronyms for ISDS: ICS and MIC.
- Under ISDS, foreign investors have more rights than local companies and citizens – they can circumvent domestic courts and sue states directly through international tribunals.
- ISDS cases are usually heard by secretive courts made up of just three private arbitrators, appointed as “judges” – many of whom have previously worked for the companies taking cases.
- Even if a government wins the case, a 2012 OECD study found ISDS cases last for 3 to 5 years and the average cost is US$8 million per case, with some cases costing up to US$30 million.
- The Philippine government spent US$58 million defending two cases against German airport operator Fraport; money that could have paid the salaries of 12,500 teachers for one year.
- A recent WTO Working Paper found no empirical evidence that ISDS increases investment.
- ISDS has no system of precedents or appeals, so the decisions of arbitrators are final and can be inconsistent.
In short, ISDS is an enormously costly system with no independent judiciary, precedents or appeals, which gives increased legal rights to global corporations which already have enormous market power, based on legal concepts not recognized in national systems and not available to domestic investors.
World Economic Forum (Davos annual meetings) Industry Partners who use ISDS provisions to sue Governments
WEF Industry Partners who have used ISDS provisions to sue Governments
In 2015, Novartis threatened the use of ISDS to help discourage the Colombian government from making a life-saving leukaemia drug more accessible through compulsory licensing. The drug, which has brought in over €40 billion in revenue for Novartis, sold for over $15,000 per patient per year; twice the average person’s income.
In 2008, Dow Chemical sued Canada after Quebec banned the manufacture and sale of harmful pesticides. Dow Agrosciences declared the subsequent settlement a victory, and commentators noted the case may discourage other Governments from moving ahead with their own pesticide bans. Vatenfall, which runs power plants, is suing Germany for over €4 billion after the Government announced a transition away from nuclear energy. Vatenfall also sued Germany after the City of Hamburg attempted to implement stronger protections concerning waste-water ending up in the city’s river. The case was ultimately settled in 2011, with the city of Hamburg agreeing to the lowering of environmental protections. Chevron sued Ecuador for attempting to make the company pay for the devastating environmental impact and pollution resulting from mining activity in the Amazon region.Glencore sued the Colombian government for restricting the expansion of a pollutive open-cast coal mine.
In 2017, Novartis threatened to use ISDS to discourage the Colombian government from attempting to make a life-saving leukaemia drug more accessible through compulsory licensing. The drug, which has brought in over €45 billion in revenue for Novartis, was sold in Columbia for over $15,000 per patient per year; twice the average person’s income. Energy company Engie sued Hungary after the government increased taxes on foreign energy companies and attempted to bring down prices for consumers. Mobil sued the Canadian government after the province of NewFoundland tried to ensure a percentage of profits from offshore gas extraction were re-invested in research and development in the region. Total is suing Uganda after the government taxed their purchase of oil-exploration blocks. Scotia Bank sued Argentina for over half a billion dollars for measures taken during the 2002 Argentine Financial Crisis. Mercuria, a Swiss commodity trader, sued Poland via a Cyprus subsidiary for implementing an EU directive on mandatory fuel reserves which they say negatively affected their profits.
Shell sued the Philippines, via a Dutch subsidiary curiously named “Shell Philippines,” for attempts by the government to make offshore-gas extractors pay their fair share in tax. Credit Suisse and Standard Chartered sued the Indian Government for “failing to protect investor loans.” Siemens sued Argentina for cancelling a contract for outsourced public services, after widespread failures. Siemens was awarded over $200 million USD. Dow Chemical sued Canada after Quebec banned the manufacture and sale of harmful pesticides. Dow Agrosciences declared the subsequent settlement a victory, and commentators noted the case may discourage other Governments from moving ahead with their own pesticide bans. That is why, on the 25th of January, our alliance organized an action in Davos, to tell the governmnets present at the World Economic Forum that we do not accept corporate rights over human rights.