Public Values

Europe worried about a treaty proviso Germany designed to protect itself

CETA could allow Canadian companies to sue European governments, and vice versa.

Hermann Abs, the German economist who introduced the clause that allows companies to sue governmentsNovember 4, 2011: Europeans have reason to be concerned about a proviso in many trade treaties that allows companies to sue governments if their policies, says Mahnaz Malik in The Guardian. Since Europe usually concludes such treaties with developing countries, it has never before faced such litigation; however, since the proviso is included in NAFTA, the Canadian government is likely to want it included in CETA negotiations.

"The news that Germany's nuclear phase-out is being challenged by a Swedish company is not without irony. In doing so, the Swedish energy company Vattenfall is using the very mechanism designed by the German government to protect German investors from the actions of developing countries' governments.

Germany and Pakistan concluded the world's first ever investment treaty in 1959 and renewed their vows on its 50th anniversary in 2009. The blueprint of the German bilateral investment treaty (BIT), which set the template for most European BITs, was cast by the notorious Hermann Abs, chairman of Deutsche Bank in Germany, and Lord Shawcross QC, attorney-general in the UK..."

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Posted: November 16, 2011

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