Treaty with Ukraine opens door to massive damage claims

4 March 2016

Treaty with Ukraine opens door to massive damage claims

The Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine has as one of its explicit goals the addition in the future of the notorious ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) system of investment protection to the text of the treaty. ISDS would make it possible soon for European corporations to lodge sky-high claims against the Ukrainian state, and for Ukrainian firms to do the same to EU member states. In this way the interests of multinationals would be placed above those of a country’s citizens.

SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk, commenting on the matter, said: “ISDS comes down to the establishment of shadowy tribunals via which corporations can lodge complaints against states if they adopt policies disadvantageous to them. Social legislation will as a result come under pressure. It’s noteworthy, furthermore, because in relation to the TTIP treaty with the US, Trade Minister Lilianne Ploumen has declared that ISDS is ‘dead and buried’. But now this infamous mechanism is being, cool as you like, slipped into the treaty with Ukraine.”

Anne-Marie Mineur, who represents the SP in the European Parliament is equally opposed to the ISDS in the trade treaties currently being negotiated by the EU. “ISDS undermines democracy in a fundamental manner,” she says. “It’s totally outmoded to include such regulations in trade treaties.”

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