Today, Both ENDS sent a letter, signed by various civil society organisations, to Sigrid Kaag (Dutch Minister of Aid & Trade) reminding her of an important deadline and to urge her to terminate the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) that exists between the Netherlands and Burkina Faso. The treaty, which can be very harmful for a poor country such as Burkina Faso, will automatically be renewed for the next 15 years if it is not terminated before July 1st this year.
Remember the widespread protests against trade agreements TTIP and CETA? One of the main worries was the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism these treaties contain. Now the European Commission has proposed to set up a Multilateral Investment Court. Is that good news?
Investment treaties must be inclusive, sustainable and fair. That means that they must not put the interests of companies before those of people and their living environment.
Both ENDS will join the protest against trade treaties TTIP, CETA and TiSA on Saturday October 22nd in Amsterdam. These treaties will have negative impacts, not only in the Netherlands and Europe, but also - and maybe even more so - in developing countries.
Earlier this week, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström presented a set of proposals for reforming investment protection standards and the dispute settlement mechanism ISDS (investor-to-state arbitration). The Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B), of which Both ENDS is a member, thinks that Malmström’s proposed adjustments are not far-reaching enough. They will not significantly reform the ISDS system. The organisation has published an analysis report on this.