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07 March 2014
Press release: New website raises awareness on EU’s controversial policies for investment protection
Berlin, Brussels, Washington, Ottawa –
A new website was launched today dedicated to enlarging the public debate on the EU’s controversial policies for investment protections and investor-to-state dispute settlement systems (ISDS) in the EU-US and EU-Canada trade negotiations.
The site (http://eu-secretdeals.info) includes newly leaked investment chapters from the ongoing EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations, analysis of those chapters, and other information contradicting the Commission’s position that these transatlantic trade agreements must include strong investment protections.
Civil society groups from the European Union, United States and Canada have been calling for a much more transparent and democratic debate about international trade agreements. Their concerns about the far-reaching implications of international investment rules and arbitration procedures have been echoed by many parliamentarians, academics and governments in Europe and around the world. However, the Directorate-General for Trade in the European Commission (DG Trade) keeps insisting on keeping the CETA and TTIP negotiating texts secret.
Peter Fuchs, a trade activist based in Berlin, Germany said: “In the TTIP and CETA negotiations, DG Trade wants to grant foreign corporations new rights to sue governments before private trade tribunals and directly challenge public policies and even court decisions. This is outrageous, and the Commission knows that citizens and parliamentarians in the EU and in partner countries will not accept it. DG Trade’s attempt to divert public opposition to these investment rules through a three-month online consultation only will not work. Citizens have a right to influence all of the investment negotiations; not just the nascent EU-US TTIP but also the investment negotiations with Canada, Japan, China and other countries. We hope this website helps to blow open the debate, even if the Commission would prefer to contain it.”