569,673 of 700,000 signatures

To the President of the European Commission, the presidency of the EU Council, representatives of EU Member States and Members of the European Parliament

Petition

Today’s trade and investment agreements give transnational corporations far reaching special rights and access to a parallel justice system to enforce them.

We call on the EU and Member States to End these privileges by withdrawing from existing trade and investment agreements containing them, and not to conclude any such agreements in the future.

We also call on the EU and Member States to support the achievement of a UN binding treaty to hold transnational corporations to account for human rights violations, and end their impunity. The EU and Member States must enshrine in their laws the duties of corporations to respect human rights and the environment throughout their operations worldwide. People affected by corporate human rights violations must have access to justice.

Why is this important?

Multinational companies use their influence to capture politics, every day. But they want more. They want their own justice system. A whole parallel system of courts by corporations, for corporations.

And guess what? The European Parliament could give it to them in less than a week. On 12 February, the European Parliament is due to vote to approve an investment agreement between the EU and Singapore. It could hand corporations huge powers - a special court only accessible for them - to bully our governments and win huge sums of public money. [1]

Our mobilization could swing the vote of key MEPs in favour of the defeat of the EU-Singapore investment deal. Such a victory would show that EU citizens don’t support a system where big companies can sue governments and could have huge repercussions for the whole investment policy of the EU!

This system of corporate courts already exists, but the EU wants to expand it. It is called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). It allows multinational corporations to sue governments that dare to stand up to their power. Under the secretive ISDS, they have sued countries for anything from raising the minimum wage or introducing a moratorium on fracking. [2]

If the EU-Singapore deal is passed, it could bring the same ISDS system to a whole array of new trade agreements to be passed in 2019. We could see ISDS introduced in similar deals with bigger economies. Including with the USA or Japan.

Three years ago, we stopped the EU-US agreement, the TTIP, which would have increased the power of big multinational corporations.

You can help do it again to stop this privilege for multinational corporations - which was the most dangerous part of TTIP.


References:

  1. According to the United Nations, these systems on average award €477 million from public budgets, our tax money. https://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/diaepcb2017d1_en.pdf
  2. http://isds.bilaterals.org/?-key-cases-&lang=en

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Please can you chip in?

Our WeMove community has been campaigning for years to end corporate privileges and impunity. We now have the unique opportunity to call the EU Parliament to vote against a system where the corporations can sue governments! It depends on whether our voice can prevail over the corporations which always want more power at the expense of people's rights!

This will be a long battle, and to run a proper campaign we need funding. To be ready to mobilise and put pressure when and where it’s most needed, we need the stability and flexibility that only small regular donations from WeMove community members like yourself can provide.

Can you chip in each month and help the fight against corporate courts and corporations impunity?

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