European international investment policy
Investment policy became a European competence when the latest version of the European treaties, the Lisbon Treaty, was adopted.
The report on the future European international investment policy gave the European Parliament its first opportunity to define its position, which would have substantially affect ongoing negotiations on investment agreements with Canada, India, Singapore and the South Mediterranean countries.
The biggest problem is investors' right to take national governments to court, though corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental provisions are also key issues.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens argued in favour of a fair balance being struck between investor rights and investor obligations.
In particular, we believe that investors should not be allowed to challenge national governments in arbitration.
Investors often attempt this to try and claim back profits lost as a result of environmental legislation.
Accordingly, investor-state dispute settlement tends to weaken environmental legislation in third countries.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
Which points did the Greens lose?
The Greens were also overruled on our position against investor-state dispute settlement because the investor-friendly position adopted by the S&D created a decisive majority against it.
We tried to at least ensure that conditions were imposed on recourse to this legal tool, so as not to threaten developing countries.
We also wanted to exclude it from treaties with countries where the legal system provides sufficient investor protection.
However, the S&D rapporteur decided to actively advocate investor-state arbitration as the rule in all investment treaties.
Lead MEP:Kader Arif (S&D)
Green MEP responsible:Carl Schlyter
Staff contact:Martin Köhler (Email)