EU Greens defeated on proposal for European Court to act as filter in Investor-State Dispute Settlements
Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) has been the focus of critics of the EU-US Free Trade Agreement/ TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) – and European Union (EU) Greens are against the inclusion of ISDS, which would allow corporations to take nation states to court in the event that national laws were detrimental to their profit margins.
In 2013, investors initiated at least 57 known Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) cases pursuant to International Investment Agreements. The 2014 report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Investment shows that almost half of the total were filed against developed countries; most of these have the member states of the EU as respondents.
Swedish Energy group Vattenfall is suing the German government for €3.7 billion because of the German nuclear phase-out, instigated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Canada’s Gabriel Resources Ltd (backed by Vulture Capitalist John Paulson) is threatening a $4 billion suit against Romania, as the company wants to open the largest open cast mining in Europe. The Rosia Montana mine has met with strong opposition from the Save Rosia Montana Campaign. Thousands of people in cities across Romania are protesting against the project.
The Greens presented a proposal to the Committee on International Trade (INTA) that the European Court of Justice be assigned the function of a filter to decide on the admissibility of a claim before it can be taken up by an international arbitration tribunal. Unfortunately, the majority of MEPs voted favouring corporate lawsuits without restraints. Lawsuits that will be in non-democratic offshore tribunals.