Every year, EU member states are sued in the billions by investors for important regulations in the fight against climate change or for protective measures for consumers, workers and health. The planned agreements between the EU and Vietnam would aggravate this situation and would not make a positive contribution either to the Green Deal nor to the goal of a fair globalisation policy. On the contrary, the member states’ political room for manoeuvre will be restricted and corporate rights further enforced.
According to AK and ÖGB, the EU-Vietnam agreements must, therefore, live up to the following minimum requirements:
- All eight ILO core labour standards must be ratified, implemented and applied by Vietnam. In addition, the parties must continue to apply the current ILO conventions and recommendations.
- Violations of internationally recognized labour and environmental standards must be dealt with effectively through trade sanctions.
- Above all, labour, environmental and consumer protection standards must be excluded from any regulatory cooperation. The precautionary principle according to EU law is binding and has to be explicitly integrated into the agreement.
- Services of public interest, including public contracts and concessions, must be completely excluded from bilateral trade agreements.
- Investor-state-tribunals are not acceptable in bilateral investment protection agreements.
- Multinational corporations and local companies must comply with human rights, social and environmental standards across national value chains.
We, therefore, urge you to refuse to ratify the EU trade agreement as well as the investment agreement with Vietnam as long as these problematic contents persist.