In 2001, the Governing Council approved and the General Assembly adopted the triennial Work Programme including a multi-item project “Transactions on Transnational and Connected Capital Markets”. In view of the rapid progress made by the Committee of governmental experts negotiating the draft Convention on Harmonised Rules regarding Intermediated Securities the Governing Council, in 2005, recommended that the General Assembly authorise, following indications of preferences by Member States Governments, work on the next item, i.e. the preparation of principles and rules capable of enhancing trading in securities on emerging markets.



Objectives and possible content


Both on the occasion of fact finding seminars, held in Asia and Latin America in the context of the work on intermediated securities, and in comments submitted to the Governing Council Member State Governments from those regions voiced the urgent need to have basic commercial law rules applicable to trading in securities developed in the context of a multilateral Organisation with special expertise such as UNIDROIT.

The Secretariat submitted the following list of problem areas which might merit further analysis for the Council’s consideration. The Council discussed the items and stressed the need to focus on transactional law.

• Nature and types of securities.

• Fungibility of securities and (degree of) dematerialisation: immobilised, fully dematerialised securities, substitutes.

• Transactional structure of bond issues: private-law restrictions on debt financing; direct placement by (specific types of) issuers; mandatory involvement of intermediaries; contractual and proprietary relationships between issuer, intermediaries/underwriters and investors (internal relationship between underwriters to the extent that local underwriters are involved and local law is governing that internal relationship and/or their rights and obligations vis-à-vis the issuer); standard contract terms and their – ex ante or ex post – scrutiny; potential conflicts between applicable company law and applicable contract law; legal or contractual community of bond holders.

• Transactional structure of share issues (IPOs) and in addition to problem areas common to bond issues: enabling or limiting rules of underlying company law; methods for determining initial share price (fixed, bookbuilding, auctions) and respective transactional law; differentiation private placement/public offering; allotment of shares, in particular equal treatment of investors/bidders; status and impact of codes of conduct for issuers and intermediaries; IPOs over the Internet, including conflict-of-laws issues; the issuer’s prospectus as the basic information provided in the event of a public offering, its content and liability of the issuer and intermediaries for inaccuracies.

• Organisational and transactional provisions to enhance liquidity on secondary markets, including role and legal position of intermediaries and central counter parties; conflict-of-laws rules regarding foreign market participants.

• General contract law or special regimes for trading in securities; impact of trade usages; impact of standard contract terms legislation; consumer/retail investor protection; special regimes for options, futures and other derivatives.

• Contractual and proprietary issues of clearing, settlement and custody as well as use of securities as collateral (to the extent not sufficiently addressed in the preliminary draft Convention on Intermediated Securities for the needs of any specific emerging market).

• Securities lending

• Private law framework for disclosure, prevention of insider trading and other forms of market abuse and for the conduct of market participants.



Hypotheses regarding work process


Regarding the type of instrument envisaged, it is obvious that a binding instrument (convention) and even a model law is not only an unrealistic objective but also undesirable, especially from the point of view of the many emerging securities markets, their varied stage of evolution and their interest in building their individual competitiveness. On the other hand, the formulation of benchmark principles, developed in a legislative guide that focuses on the private law aspects would appear to be very challenging yet feasible. With respect to a number of issues such an instrument would provide relatively detailed guidance as to the available options for the transaction-related implementation of regulatory recommendations prepared by IOSCO and in other fora.

Given the considerable variety of types and degrees of evolution of emerging markets and their respective needs, work might usefully be organised in a decentralised fashion where UNIDROIT would assume the responsibilities of scientific preparation and co-ordination and where interested regional Organisations or member States would provide platforms for the work of Study Groups, etc. To the extent conflict-of-laws issues are to be addressed, co-operation with the Hague Conference on Private International Law would be desirable. To the extent issues of secured transactions in general become topical, close co-operation with UNCITRAL would be sought.



Project status


The UNIDROIT Convention on Substantive Rules for Intermediated Securities (to be known as the ‘Geneva Securities Convention’) was adopted in Geneva, Switzerland on 9 October 2009 by the diplomatic Conference to adopt a Convention on Substantive Rules regarding Intermediated Securities.

The Conference adopted a Resolution relating specifically to activities to support promotion of the entry into force and implementation of the Geneva Securities Convention. To this effect UNIDROIT, in its capacity as Depositary of the Convention, was requested to make all appropriate efforts to organise activities such as meetings, conferences and seminars with a view to promoting awareness and understanding of the Convention and assessing its continued effectiveness.

The diplomatic Conference established a Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation to assist the Secretariat in its task. This Committee met twice. For the first time in Rome from 6 to 9 September 2010 and for the second time in Rio de Janeiro on 27 and 28 March 2012 (see documentation below).

The Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-Up and Implementation is co-chaired by Brazil and China. The members are: Argentina, Cameroon, Chile, France, Greece, India, Japan, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, South Africa, United States of America and the European Community. The observers are: Indonesia, European Central Bank, European Issuers, Hague Conference on Private International Law and Trade Association for the Emerging Markets.

On the occasion of the first meeting of the Committee, the Secretariat organised, on 6 and 7 September 2010, a Colloquium on “The law of securities trading in emerging markets: lessons learned from the financial crisis and long-term trends”, with a view to identifying possible topics suitable for insertion in a future legislative guide on Principles and Rules capable of enhancing trading in securities in emerging markets. 25 speakers made presentations on a wide range of topics related to securities trading and the functioning of capital markets.

As a first step toward the development of a Legislative Guide on Principles and rules capable of enhancing trading in securities in emerging markets, the UNIDROIT Secretariat is preparing a guidance document intended to provide advice for countries that ratify the 2009 Geneva Securities Convention on how best to incorporate the Convention and integrate it into their domestic legal systems (“Accession Kit”). A draft was submitted to the Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation at its first session (UNIDROIT 2010 – S78B/CEM/1/Doc. 3) which decided to divide the document. The first part contains an explanatory memorandum for the assistance of States and Regional Economic Integration Organisations on the system of declarations under the Geneva Securities Convention. It became an Unidroit document in its capacity of Depositary of the Geneva Securities Convention (the Declarations Memorandum, Unidroit 2011 – DC11/DEP/Doc. 1)). The second part containing references to sources of law outside the Convention is still under discussion within the Committee as a basis for the prospective Legislative Guide.

The second meeting of the Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-Up and Implementation was held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) on 27 and 28 March 2012. The first day of the meeting was devoted to a Colloquium on financial markets law which considered the actions taken by emerging markets to create a favourable environment for trading in intermediated securities and discussed how emerging markets have reacted to the financial crisis and which means are to be adopted to increase legal security and the investors’ protection. In the second day, Committee members and observers meeting examined the reception given to the 2009 Geneva Securities Convention in the various countries, in particular in emerging countries, were presented the Official Commentary on the 2009 Convention, considered legislative measures to implement the Convention and incorporate it in domestic law as well as concrete proposals for its promotion. It also considered future work by UNIDROIT in the area of financial markets law.

The third meeting of the Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-Up and Implementation was held in Istanbul (Turkey) from 11 to 13 November 2013.



Third meeting of the Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation, Istanbul 11 – 13 November 2013


Colloquium: Programme and presentations

Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation. Third meeting – Istanbul, 11-13 November 2013. Colloquium “Enhancing Financial Integrity in Emerging Markets: The Geneva Convention and the UNIDROIT Principles on Close-Out Netting under National Law”. Istanbul, 11-12 November 2013.

UNIDROIT 2013 – S78B/CEM/3/Doc. 2

Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation. Third meeting – Istanbul, 11-13 November 2013. Annotated draft outline: Legislative Guide on Principles and Rules Capable of Enhancing Trading in Securities in Emerging Markets – October 2013

UNIDROIT 2013 – S78B/CEM/3/Doc. 1

Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation. Third meeting – Istanbul, 11-13 November 2013. Annotated agenda – July 2013

Second meeting of the Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation, Rio de Janeiro 27 and 28 March 2012

Colloquium: Programme and presentations

Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation. Second meeting – Rio de Janeiro, 27 and 28 March 2012. Colloquium ” Promoting investor confidence and enhancing legal certainty for securities trading in emerging markets”. Rio de Janeiro, 27 March 2012.

UNIDROIT 2012 – S78B/CEM/2/Doc. 3

Committee on emerging markets issues, follow-up and implementation. Second meeting, Rio de Janeiro, 27 and 28 March 2012. Report (prepared by the UNIDROIT Secretariat)

UNIDROIT 2011 – S78B/CEM/2/Doc. 2

Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation. Second meeting – Rio de Janeiro, 27 and 28 March 2012. Information for Contracting States in respect of the Convention’s references to sources of law outside the Convention – November 2011

UNIDROIT 2011 – S78B/CEM/2/Doc. 1

Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation. Second meeting – Rio de Janeiro, 27 and 28 March 2012. Annotated agenda – November 2011



First meeting of the Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation, Rome 6-9 September 2010

Colloquium: Programme and presentations

Committee on Emerging Markets Issues, Follow-up and Implementation. First meeting – Rome, 6-9 September 2010. Colloquium “The law of securities trading in emerging markets: lessons learned from the financial crisis and long-tem trends”, Villa Aldobrandini, Via Panisperna 28, 00184 Rome, 6-7 September 2010.

The integral versions of some of the presentations have been published in the Uniform Law Review, vol. 15 (2010) and vol. 16 (2011).

UNIDROIT 2010 – S78B/CEM/1/Doc. 4

Committee on emerging markets issues, follow-up and implementation. First meeting, Rome, 6 to 9 September 2010. Report (prepared by the UNIDROIT Secretariat)

UNIDROIT 2010 – S78B/CEM/1/Doc. 3

Committee on emerging markets issues, follow-up and implementation. First meeting, Rome, 6 to 9 September 2010. Accession Kit to the UNIDROIT Convention on Substantive Rules for Intermediated Securities (“Geneva Securities Convention”). Information for Contracting States in respect of the Convention’s declarations and references to sources of law outside the Convention. Draft prepared by the Secretariat

UNIDROIT 2010 – S78B/CEM/1/Doc. 2

Committee on emerging markets issues, follow-up and implementation. First meeting, Rome, 6 to 9 September 2010. Proposal for an international instrument on the Netting of Financial Instruments – August 2010

UNIDROIT 2010 – S78B/CEM/1/Doc. 1

Committee on emerging markets issues, follow-up and implementation. First meeting, Rome, 6 to 9 September 2010. Annotated agenda – June 2010


Matheus Luiz Puppe Magalhaes

Azevêdo highlights trade role in realizing Africa’s “sheer potential” – OMC

Director— General Roberto Azevêdo, in opening the WTO Public Forum’s second plenary session “Why Trade Matters to Africa” on 2 October, said that trade has an important role in realizing Africa’s “sheer potential”. He said that fully implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement “will help to integrate Africa—and cut the costs of trade significantly”. This is what he said:

01.10.2014: Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, on 1 October, welcomed hundreds of participants — NGOs, academics, the private sector, the media, governments, international organizations, and members of the public

Good morning everyone.

Welcome to our 2nd plenary session at the 2014 WTO Public Forum.

As you know, our topic today is “Why Trade Matters to Africa”.

Yesterday we were discussing trade in much broader terms, and yet Africa was a constant theme — in comments from the floor, and from the stage.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that we must integrate Africa into the global economy through open, non-discriminatory and equitable trade.

And in closing the meeting William Ruto, the Deputy President of Kenya, gave a rallying call.

He said: that Africa has the youngest population of any continent; that Africa offers the greatest return on investment; and that it is the fastest growing continent, with 7 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world.

And so the message that I think many of us took away from the debate, was a sense of Africa’s sheer potential.

And of course trade has an important role in realizing that potential.

This is one reason why African countries are beginning to make their voices heard more and more loudly here at the WTO.

It is why our Africa members were so active in striking the deal to secure the Bali package at our ministerial conference last year.

And it is why African nations are tearing down barriers so that they can trade more with each other.

In East Africa, for example, they have more than halved the transit time for goods between Mombasa and Kigali. And cut processing costs at the Kenya-Uganda border by $300 per container.

These are the kind of steps which allow businesses to grow and thrive — and in the end these are the kind of steps that will change people’s lives.

So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised when studies show that, across the globe it is the African people who have the most positive view of trade.

So there is a lot to play for — and a lot to be optimistic about.

But of course there are real challenges too.

Despite the impressive growth, there is still a huge inequality gap. Per capita income in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa is just 6 per cent of the average in developed economies.

And of course when talk we about “Africa”, we are talking about more than 50 countries, each with its own strengths and its own challenges.

A significant proportion of Africa’s growth over the last decade has been supported by high commodity prices.

But of course these gains accrue mainly to the large commodity exporters — and particularly the oil exporting countries. So there are many that are not reached by that growth.

And then there are challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, or limited access to trade finance, or issues of security.

So there’s no doubt that there remains a lot of work to do. And I think there are a number of ways in which the WTO can help.

  • Firstly, the very existence of an international trading system creates a stable, predictable and transparent business environment which supports growth and development in Africa.
  • Secondly, the WTO’s Aid for Trade initiative can play an important role. Over $40 billion dollars was mobilised in Aid for Trade financing in 2012 – with Africa as the largest beneficiary.
  • Thirdly, we can make a big difference by fully implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement and providing the capacity building assistance that goes with it. This will help to integrate Africa — and cut the costs of trade significantly.
  • Finally, we can help through our negotiations — by making progress on the Doha agenda.

So, I think there is a lot to talk about — and with the help of our guests on the panel, and all of you, that is precisely what we are going to do now.

Again, we have a fantastic panel, chaired by our friend Julie Guichuru. Welcome back Julie.

To her right, it is my pleasure to welcome Minister Axel Addy, Minister of Commerce and Industry from Liberia.

Liberia is currently in the process of joining the WTO. Minister Addy is the Chief Negotiator in that process. So he brings a very interesting perspective. And we are delighted to have him here today.

We are also joined by:

  • Issam Chleuh — Founder and CEO of Africa Impact Group, which is all about investing in positive and philanthropic projects — though I’m sure he can explain it much better than I can — so I’ll leave it to him!
  • Razia Khan, Head of African Macro Research at Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Frank Matsaert, CEO of Trademark East Africa — which is all about supporting trade in that region.
  • And Paul Brenton, Lead Economist and Trade Practice Leader in Africa, from the World Bank.

So we have a very wide range of interesting perspectives here — almost as formidable as the topic itself.

Thank you all for taking the time to be with us today.

I look forward to our discussion.

And with that, Julie, I will hand over to you.


Matheus Luiz Puppe Magalhaes

Nobel da Paz vai para paquistanesa Malala Yousafzai

Jovem defende direitos das meninas à educação em sua terra natal desde os 11 anos. Prêmio será dividido com ativista indiano Kailash Satyarthi, engajado na luta contra o trabalho infantil desde a década de 1980.

O Comitê norueguês do Nobel anunciou nesta sexta-feira (10/10) que a paquistanesa Malala Yousafzai é a ganhadora do Prêmio Nobel da Paz de 2014. A jovem ativista luta pelo acesso à escola de meninas no Paquistão e sobreviveu a uma tentativa de homicídio por parte de talibãs.

Malala, de 17 anos, é a mais jovem ganhadora do prêmio até o momento. Desde os 11 anos, ela luta pelos direitos das meninas à educação no Paquistão.

Junto com Malala, o indiano Kailash Satyarthi foi nomeado covencedor do Nobel da Paz. O ativista de direitos humanos, de 60 anos, libertou milhares de crianças do trabalho escravo na Índia. Ele abandonou a profissão de engenheiro elétrico e fundou o movimento Save the Childhood (Salve a Infância) em 1980.

O Comitê do Nobel decidiu homenagear Malala e Satyarthi por sua “luta contra a supressão de crianças e jovens e pelo direito de todas as crianças à educação”. “Crianças devem ir à escola, e não serem exploradas”, destacou.

“O prêmio é uma honra a todas as crianças que ainda sofrem com a escravidão, trabalho forçado e tráfico humano”, disse Satyarthi

“[O prêmio] é uma honra a todas as crianças que ainda sofrem com a escravidão, trabalho forçado e tráfico humano”, disse Satyarthi à emissora de TV CNN-IBN após o anúncio do prêmio.

O prêmio, no valor de cerca de 1,1 milhão de dólares, será entregue em Oslo no dia 10 de dezembro, o aniversário de morte do sueco Alfred Nobel, que fundou a premiação em 1895.

Antes de Malala, o ganhador mais jovem de um Nobel era o cientista de origem australiana Lawrence Bragg, que tinha 25 anos ao dividir o Nobel de Física com seu pai, em 1915.

Malala comoveu o mundo

Em 2013, Malala lançou sua autobiografia, intitulada Eu sou Malala: a menina que os talibãs queriam matar por lutar pelo direito à educação, pela qual foi laureada pelo Parlamento Europeu com o Prêmio Sakharov para a Liberdade de Pensamento.

A autobiografia foi lançada exatamente um ano após ela ter sido atacada e ferida gravemente por talibãs. Em 9 de outubro de 2012, Malala voltava da escola para casa com amigas em sua terra natal, o Vale do Swat, quando radicais islâmicos invadiram o ônibus em que estavam e dispararam um tiro contra a cabeça da adolescente. Após uma operação de emergência, ela foi transportada de avião para a Inglaterra onde, durante os meses seguintes, lutou para sobreviver ao atentado.

Autobiografia lançada em 2013 rendeu reconhecimento internacional à jovem paquistanesa

Antes disso, em 2009, Malala escreveu um blog para a emissora britânica BBC, usando o pseudônimo Gul Makai, tornando-se, então, muito popular. Nele, Malala descreveu as ações das milícias islamistas no Vale do Swat, contestando o fechamento de escolas para meninas pelos talibãs.

Além da homenagem no Parlamento Europeu e do Nobel da Paz, Malala tem sido celebrada no Ocidente e laureada com numerosos prêmios por seu engajamento incansável. Em 2013, no dia de seu aniversário, 16 de julho, ela falou à Assembleia Jovem da ONU em Nova York, onde foi aplaudida de pé. Ela também recebeu o Prêmio Internacional da Paz da Infância e foi nomeada Embaixadora da Consciência pela ONG Anistia Internacional.



Matheus Luiz Puppe Magalhães

Gravierende Defizite – EU rechnet mit Türkei ab

Seit Jahren treten die Türkei-Beitrittsgespräche auf der Stelle. Nun erklärt die EU: Man macht sich über die Unabhängigkeit der türkischen Justiz und den Schutz von Grundrechten ernsthaft Sorgen.

Erdogan im türkischen Parlament: Im “Fortschrittsbericht” rechnet die EU mit der Türkei ab

Seit neun Jahren verhandeln Brüssel und Ankara über einen EU-Beitritt der Türkei. Die Verhandlungen treten seit Jahren auf der Stelle, erst eines von insgesamt 34 Verhandlungskapiteln wurde abgeschlossen. Im neuen “Fortschrittsbericht” rechnet die EU nun mit der Türkei ab und wirft dem Land gravierende Defizite bei der Beachtung von demokratischen Grundrechten, rechtsstaatlichen Prinzipien und der Bekämpfung von Korruption vor.

In dem Bericht der EU-Kommission, der der “Welt” vorliegt, heißt es: “Die Gesetzgebung, die im Justizbereich verabschiedet wurde, hat zu großer Sorge mit Blick auf die Unabhängigkeit und Unparteilichkeit der Justiz, der Gewaltenteilung und der Rechtsstaatlichkeit geführt.” Als ein Beispiel führt die Kommission die Entlassung von kritischen Staatsanwälten und Polizisten an, die sich für eine Aufdeckung von Korruptionsdelikten eingesetzt hatten.

Diskriminierend, parteiisch, intransparent

Außerdem kritisiert Brüssel erhebliche Mängel bei der Bekämpfung von Korruption in der Türkei. Die Untersuchungen wären oft diskriminierend, parteiisch und intransparent. Außerdem wäre es nahezu unmöglich, bei Verdacht auf Korruption gegen Parlamentarier zu ermitteln.

Neue Gesetze und das Verhalten der türkischen Polizei würden zudem die Meinungs- und Demonstrationsfreiheit verletzen. “Der regelmäßige Gebrauch von exzessiver Gewalt während Demonstrationen und die Festnahmen sind ein Grund zur Sorge”, schreibt die EU-Kommission in ihrem Bericht. Neue Gesetze würden zudem die Meinungsfreiheit und Pressefreiheit einschränken. “Es gibt eine Notwendigkeit für eine umfassende Reform der Gesetze im Bereich der Gedanken-, Gewissens- und Religionsfreiheit”, ermahnt die EU die Regierung in Ankara.

Die Türkei braucht mehr europäisches Engagement und nicht weniger, um dem Land zu helfen, ein moderner europäischer Staat zu werden

Stefan Füle

In diesem Zusammenhang fordert Brüssel auch, die “übermäßige Überwachung” von gesellschaftlichen Gruppen, die sich politisch engagieren, einzustellen und die Zivilgesellschaft insgesamt stärker an der politischen Willensbildung zu beteiligen.

Auf der anderen Seite attestiert die EU dem Land am Bosporus aber auch Fortschritte, vor allem bei der Integration der kurdischen Minderheit und bei der Verfassungsreform. EU-Erweiterungskommissar Stefan Füle sagte der “Welt”: “Die Türkei braucht mehr europäisches Engagement und nicht weniger, um dem Land zu helfen, ein moderner europäischer Staat zu werden. Die EU-Kommission beabsichtigt nicht, die Beitrittsverhandlungen mit der Türkei einzustellen.” Dafür fehlten die rechtlichen Voraussetzungen. “Außerdem sind Grundrechte und Rechtsstaatlichkeit ein Kernbereich der Erweiterungspolitik, und sie müssen im Beitrittsprozess entschlossen angegangen werden”, so Füle.

In Brüssel hieß es, die EU-Kommission wolle empfehlen, zügig mit den Türkei-Beitrittsgesprächen fortzufahren und neue Verhandlungskapitel zu eröffnen. Die Kommissionsbehörde hat dabei die Kapitel 23 und 24 im Blick, also die Themen Justiz, Grundrechte, Freiheit und Sicherheit.



Should the European Commission wear green goggles more often?


Blogpost by Daniel Simons – 6 October, 2014 at 12:00

That’s the question lawyers were arguing about in Luxembourg last week. It is a case where Greenpeace is challenging the approval of up to €1.6 billion in aid to Spain’s coal industry.

Spain is a poster child for clean energy. It has revolutionised its power supply, pushing down harmful emissions, reducing the bill for fossil fuel imports and creating thousands of green jobs along the way — all in the space of a few years. Last year, wind power was Spain’s top source of electricity.

But this success story is now under threat. The Spanish government is retroactively changing the rules and cutting back on support for renewables which it says cost too much. At the same time, it continues to defend its support of the country’s uncompetitive coal industry which has swallowed over €24 billion in subsidies since 1990.

Our legal challenge relates to the latest major support scheme for coal, a Royal Decree euphemistically entitled “Restrictions to Guarantee Supply”, which was adopted in 2010. At that time, mine workers in Castille and León were marching in protest against unpaid wages — a major worry for the socialist prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who hails from the region.

The mines were already receiving direct subsidies, and EU rules prevented a further increase. Instead, the government decided to impose a “production obligation” on 10 power plants which run on Spanish coal, requiring them to continue buying and burning it. In return, the government promised up to €400 million a year in compensation to cover the higher cost of Spanish coal and the purchase of greenhouse gas emission allowances.

Under EU rules, State aid of this kind must be reviewed by the European Commission. The Spanish government argued that the scheme should be approved on the grounds that the 10 coal-fired power plants perform a “service of general economic interest” by keeping the lights on when the wind isn’t blowing. They argued that the scheme also reduces Spain’s dependence on imported energy.

Power companies that generate electricity from other sources — such as renewables, gas or imported coal — were up in arms. So were environmental organisations, including Greenpeace. They pointed out that, far from being at risk of blackouts, Spain’s electricity system suffers from serious overcapacity. Many Spanish gas-fired power plants don’t run at full capacity, because there is not enough demand for electricity — and they offer a much cleaner back-up solution than coal does.

Yet, after intensive lobbying by the Spanish government, the Commission approved the aidwithout opening an investigation. Its effect was immediate — Spain’s National Energy Commissionestimated that the scheme caused a 35% increase in carbon emissions from the electricity sector in 2011.

A number of power companies decided to sue the Commission before the EU’s General Court. Greenpeace applied to join these cases. On Tuesday, the hearing was held in Castelnou Energia v Commission, with Greenpeace Spain intervening.

Castelnou argued some of its gas-fired plants have been put out of action due to unfair competition from subsidised coal. Greenpeace Spain — represented by high-caliber pro bono lawyers — focused on the negative environmental impact of the Spanish scheme. Under EU law the European Commission is required to take environmental requirements into account in all its activities, in order to promote sustainable development. This is called the “integration principle”, and is found in Article 11 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). As we put it in court, the Commission should look at the world through “green goggles”.

What does a scheme that orders power plants to burn more coal — and tells them not to worry about pollution as the government will pick up the bill — look like through green goggles? Quite brown, and hardly in line with the “polluter pays principle” — which is also enshrined in the same treaty. The Commission, we told the Court, should at least have opened an investigation to see whether “security of supply” could not be guaranteed in a greener way.

Non-governmental organisations like Greenpeace are only very rarely given an opportunity to argue before the EU courts. This case is therefore a special opportunity to challenge some three-quarters of energy subsidies in the EU that still go towards fossil fuels. Will the judges put on green goggles of their own and side with our case? Expect the ruling some time in mid-2015. The Spanish support scheme will have ended by then — it expires at the end of this year. Hopefully, the Spanish government will not attempt to renew it in some form, avoiding the need for further legal action.

At the same time, Greenpeace is trying to convince the Commission to put on green goggles in another case; the unprecedented State aid that the UK government wants to give to the Hinkley nuclear power plant. Let’s hope that the Commission will do the right thing, and will avoid facing more legal challenges, by us and by others.

Daniel Simons is Legal Counsel for Campaigns and Actions at Greenpeace International.

Fonte: Greenpeace

Encerramento do Contencioso entre Brasil e Estados Unidos sobre o algodão na OMC (DS267)


Nota nº 201

O Brasil e os Estados Unidos assinaram hoje, em Washington, Memorando de Entendimento relativo ao Contencioso do Algodão, dando por encerrada, de forma exitosa, uma disputa que se estendia há mais de uma década.

Foto: Roya K. Stephens/USTR Encerramento do Contencioso entre Brasil e Estados Unidos sobre o algodão na OMC (DS267)

01/10/2014 -

O Brasil e os Estados Unidos assinaram hoje, em Washington, Memorando de Entendimento relativo ao Contencioso do Algodão (DS 267), dando por encerrada, de forma exitosa, uma disputa que se estendia há mais de uma década.

Iniciada pelo Brasil em 2002, a disputa envolveu subsídios domésticos concedidos pelos EUA a seus produtores de algodão, bem como os programas de garantias de crédito à exportação, considerados incompatíveis com o Acordo de Agricultura e o Acordo de Subsídios e Medidas Compensatórias da OMC.

Nos termos do Memorando assinado hoje, os Estados Unidos se comprometeram a efetuar ajustes no programa de crédito e garantia à exportação GSM-102, que passará a operar dentro de parâmetros bilateralmente negociados, propiciando, assim, melhores condições de competitividade para os produtos brasileiros no mercado internacional. O entendimento bilateral inclui pagamento adicional de US$ 300 milhões, com flexibilização para a aplicação dos recursos, o que contribui para atenuar prejuízos sofridos pelos cotonicultores brasileiros.

O acordo firmado se restringe apenas ao setor cotonicultor e preserva intactos os direitos brasileiros de questionar ante a OMC, caso necessário, a legalidade da Lei Agrícola norte-americana quanto às demais culturas.

Fonte: Itamaraty