Investment treaty slammed by European greens

Resolution warns of threat to ecological, social standards, calls for halt to OECD talks

Green parties from 27 European countries have called on governments to halt negotiations for an international investment treaty on the grounds that it poses a threat to countries' social and ecological standards. A resolution adopted by the European Federation of Green Parties at the weekend will put further pressure on governments to strengthen the environmental, cultural and social safeguards in the treaty, which is being negotiated by members countries of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Similar criticisms have already delayed its adoption (ENDS Daily 26 March). The Federation warns that the treaty will hand powers to companies to sue governments that impose legislation to protect the environment, health or safety where this harms their commercial interests. Furthermore, governments would not be able to control foreign investment in important sectors such as agriculture, natural resources, cultural industries or polluting industries, the green parties say. "The agreement in its present form reflects only the interests of multinational companies....[It] will regulate - and decrease - the rights of governments and citizens" they conclude.

Follow Up:
European Federation of Green Parties, tel: +32 2 284 5135.

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