International Investment Agreements Under Scrutiny

Bilateral Investment Treaties, EU Investment Policy and International Development

International investment agreements (IIAs)1 pose serious threats to democracy and the rule of law, important European values to which we are committed in our trade policy;2 to public interests in social, environmental, health and consumer safety issues, and to the sovereign rights (and duties) of states to govern. Awareness of these risks is spreading. As concern around TTIP shows, both citizens and policy makers around the world are increasingly questioning this system, especially the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) that enables foreign investors to bypass the legal system of host states and sue governments before private tribunals for any policy, democratically passed law, or judgment of a court that adversely affects them.