We need global regulation for corporations

Eva Joly, EU parliamentarian from the French Green Party, is tipped to be the Presidential candidate of the Greens in the 2012 French Presidential election. She is popular for being the judge who took on corporate corruption seriously. She was in Nantes in France for French Green Party’s Summer School where she met Pradip Saha

By Pradip Saha
Published: Thursday 30 September 2010

Eva JolyWe are in a critical situation globally. We have economic and ecological crises running at the same time. What do you bring to mainstream politics?

You have not mentioned the third one. The social crisis. People do not believe in anything anymore. Greed and growth have revealed the problems with the development system, which is not working. I also think we have a cultural crisis.

What I do hope for is that people have a large stake in democracy. A democratic procedure will show how many French people really want a change. I want to take that momentum and social issues seriously.

We have a lot of excluded people in France. Their condition is like those of social outcastes in India. That is something not well established. But the fact is, there are people excluded from the French society.

I believe that no one loves to be unemployed. Taking care of unemployment will be a huge challenge.

We are also going to propose a system that accounts for the inequity between the North and the South. I have worked against corporate corruption and tax havens. When you start working on such kind of corruption, you discover how damaging the economic relations are between the North and the South. This is kind of a new colonialism, where India might be plundered without any benefit to her people.

We want a holistic programme taking the interest of all citizens of France into account along with the North-South inequity. This will give some sense to their lives. We have to explain that your own material situation will not change much with another 50 Euros a month in hand. But certain actions today can do something for your grandchildren.

We demonstrated against the new airport in Notre-Dame des Landes. It is an old-fashioned economic project, which will destroy 2,000 hectares of agricultural land. If we do well in the presidential election, we shall close this project and similar others. We shall also not allow building of a new generation of nuclear plants.

There is a growing fear in the South that the North will get cleaned at its cost. What is your party’s stand?

This is what I have been saying. We have a huge debt to repay to the South. This debt should be reflected when we discuss greenhouse gas emissions. It means the North must pay for the adaptation to the new climate crisis in the developing world. We, the green partners, proposed that in the EU parliament and scored. We had asked for a yearly US $30 billion transfer to the South.

A large part of the current crisis has been created by unchecked corporate ambitions. Can you delink corporations and the State?

Yes, it is possible. We need to have global regulations for corporates. Transnational companies are responsible for the damage they have done to the developing world. There should be more transparency and a clearer obligation to indicate how much money these companies are making in developing countries. They should be independent of the corporate legal system they resort to in those nations. I have done a lot of work on such issues in the past 15 years. Such work should be continued.

You are right, a lot of damage has been done by transnational corporations. Corporates should not be allowed to file a bankruptcy case and leave a land in shambles.

They need to keep everything in order in the place where they do business and have establishments. These are, what I feel, real modern economic issues. They are a big responsibility of the Greens.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.