Eu Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement
The Civic Engagement Alliance focuses on lobbying and advocacy to promote the economic empowerment of small farmers and responsible economies. Under the AEC, a number of recommendations in the ACT Alliance report on EU-Myanmar IAP were followed. The European Commission`s Directorate-General for Trade in Brussels, EU delegations in Yangon and Bangkok, parliamentarians and Myanmar`s Investment and Administration Directorate have consistently pledged to take a closer look at potential human rights violations and increase transparency on this type of negotiation process. According to ICCO and its local and international partners in the ACT alliance, ALTSEAN-Burma, a transnational institute and other interest associations, the EU-Myanmar IAP, currently frozen due to the crisis in Rakhine State, requires appropriate and timely consultation meetings. It is important that Myanmar`s civil society groups also have a better understanding of the terms of the agreement. This is particularly important after eu monitoring visits to Myanmar, based on “deeply alarming developments highlighted in various UN reports, including human rights violations in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states and concerns about labour rights” (europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6243_en.htm). In the event that Myanmar violates important UN and International Labour Organization conventions, the EU could decide to abolish Myanmar`s “everything but arms” trade preference system. However, transparency is not the only concern. The civil society document warns that PPI could have a significant negative impact on democratic development, human rights and lasting peace in Myanmar, “depriving it of the political leeway necessary to use investments to serve sustainable development and peace.” However, a decision of the European Court of Justice alleviated another concern about the proposed PPI. On 16 May, it decided that the provisions of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement should be ratified by each of the 28 EU member states. The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists is among the groups that have criticised the negotiations for lack of transparency.
Sean Bain, ICJ`s legal adviser in Myanmar, said transparency was essential for investment negotiations that could affect human rights and the environment.