EU-China negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement: - extracts from the debate

Type: -   Reference: 94549   Duration: 00:04:37  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 08/10/2013   First transmission: 08/10/2013
EU-China negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement: - extracts from the debate

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00:00:00 TITLE 00:00:05
00:00:05 EXTERIOR SHOT of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (English) Karel DE GUCHT , Commissioner for Trade : "The level of bilateral investments between EU and China is still far below what one would expect from two important economic blocs. Although foreign direct investments flows from the EU to China are on the increase, they only represent 2.1% of total EU-FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) outflows. The EU shares in the total FDI outflows from China also remain low. Although the overall amount has increased strongly in recent years, promoting bilateral investment should be our joint economic objective for the years ahead. " 00:00:41
00:00:51 SOUNDBITE (English) Karel DE GUCHT , Commissioner for Trade : "The success for launching this negotiation will also mark the first ever mandate given to the Commission to negotiate the stand-alone investment agreements, following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the gradual deployment of EU investment policy." 00:00:16
00:01:07 SOUNDBITE (English) Karel DE GUCHT , Commissioner for Trade : "The EU will also endeavour to use these negotiations to promote the Union's general external action principles. For example the Commission will aim to address sustainable development methods such as preventing the lowering of stand ards to attract investments, supporting social and environment standards and providing a reference in support of internationally recognised standards of corporate social responsibility and appropriate procedure and dispute in this area." 00:00:32
00:01:39 SOUNDBITE (German) Bernd LANGE (S&D, DE) : "We have good examples of Chinese investors, such as Chinese cooperation with Volvo has worked very well and takes into account both the employers' and the workers' interests. But there are also some less positive examples. So one of the key S&D demand is that in investment agreement we should ensure that there is respect for workers rights, both when it comes to investment and the state rules about these investments. We do not want to see competition on the basis of wage dumping and social dumping. Investment policy needs to be linked to respect for fundamental workers' rights. 00:00:49
00:02:28 SOUNDBITE (German) Helmut SCHOLZ (GUE/NGL, DE) : "As co-rapporteur of the resolution I have paid particular attention to the fact that not only should there be a clear definition of the kind of protection offered for investments, but also that the obligations on investors should be enshrined in the agreement and we address in particular the respect for provisions specified in the legislation of both partners on trade union related rights, workers' rights, transparency and environmental protection. The cultural sector is to be excluded and there should be a guarantee that governments will have policy room for manoeuvre. I would strongly recommend that the new agreement between the EU and China does not provide investors with a mechanism to directly sue Governments before an arbitration tribunal. My group rejects this and emphasises instead the role played by the ordinary courts in our judicial systems as well as state to state dispute settlements systems and mediation. And the Chinese side also prefers and supports that approach." 00:00:55
00:03:23 SOUNDBITE (German) Franziska KELLER (Greens/EFA, DE) : "First of all we do not agree that we should allow investors complaint systems. That would mean that, foreign investors circumvent the normal courts ad make an appeal to an international panel which are not subject to the normal democratic control. The definition on damaging investors interests is so widely worded that they can bring this complain on almost any basis, for example on social legislation, so the State would either have to pay compensation or would have to repeal the legal provisions, and that is intervening in the democratic rights of States? Why do we want to allow Chinese investors the right to appeal against decisions that have been taken in the EU in a democratic way and which are in the interest of the common good ? For example Germany decision to end the use of nuclear energy, there was wide support in society for that, that is something that could be subject of a complaint to an international arbitration panel. 00:01:06
00:04:29 CUTAWAYS : 2 shots 00:00:08
00:04:37 END 00:00:00
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