The European Union and its Member States are some of the most important actors when it comes to shaping globalisation. This briefing explores the double role the EU plays in this process: spinning a web of treaties that give corporations extraordinary powers while hindering efforts to hold these very same companies accountable.

This double agenda is exemplified by the EU’s actions in two areas: its reluctance to support binding and enforceable rights for citizens through an UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights, while at the same time expanding and entrenching a system of legally binding and enforceable investor rights and privileges that grants corporations extraordinary power over governments and communities.