Expose Injustice

Unjust investor protections exposed

Demonstrator makes voice heard outside the European Commission in Brussels. The Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism is at the heart of the proposed controversial US-EU trade treaty, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

TNI is committed to exposing injustice in different arenas of policy, even when few others are speaking out. This was the case with our long-standing work on the issue of the unjust protection given to foreign investors, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms, which have allowed corporations to sue states for introducing regulations that protect the public interest. Yet our work paid off as awareness grew and anger spread. By 2015, ISDS had become such a hotly debated issue that the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrőm admitted that ISDS had become the “most toxic acronym in Europe”.

TNI’s in-depth reports have exposed the costs of ISDS to public health, the environment and public services and have become essential reading for social movements and policy-makers alike. TNI has also played a central role in international networks working for just trade and investment policies, notably the European Seattle to Brussels (S2B) network and the Dutch TTIP coalition.

In 2015, TNI’s work with a growing powerful international movement and our advocacy with politicians across Europe started to pay off, as more decision-makers and opinion-formers started to side with us. In the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats (S&Ds), come out critically against ISDS.

Internationally, more and more countries including Indonesia, Pakistan and South Africa have been emboldened to publicly oppose ISDS. The unprecedented pressure forced the European Commission to acknowledge the legitimacy of public concerns and to announce partial reforms to ISDS. These reforms, unfortunately, still fail to stop corporate attacks on democracy, so TNI will continue to vigorously campaign for an end to unjust investor protection.