ROȘIA MONTANĂ (Roșia Montană, 2020)

“For more than 2000 years, gold has been mined in and around the Romanian village of Roșia Montană. For almost 20 years, residents and environmentalists have been in a dispute with the Roșia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC) over whether Europe’s largest gold mine should be set up in the area. [...] All around the world, the extraction of resources often goes hand in hand with serious human rights violations. Entire villages are forcibly relocated without adequate compensation; pollution destroys the livelihood of local communities and damages their health. People who resist these circumstances often face threats and criminalization.”

Case report from the ECCHR - Gold Mining in Roșia Montană (Romania): Billion dollar business vs. residents and the environment?

While the Canadian-British mining company Gabriel Resources is now suing Romania in an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) case for a compensation of US$3.3 billion, the inhabitants of Roșia Montană are facing a quite uncertain future. Thus, the case of Roșia Montană raises various questions, politically and legally:

It is not only about balancing environmental and econimic needs in post-communist Europe. Gold Mining in Roșia Montană fundamentally questions the ISDS as a legal remedy in public international law. In terms of Democracy and the Rule of Law, the ISDS is frequently criticised for its lack of transparency and the opportunity it gives foreign investors to challenge legitimate domestic regulation. Thus the conflict goes deeper than it appears at first glance: from environmental protection to the question of sovereignty in a democratic constitutional state, threatend by the profit motive of a Canadian mining company.