Europe

European Union member states have signed over 1500 trade agreements with third countries, in addition to some 200 bilateral investment treaties (BIT) between EU members. Non-EU European states are party to over 700 trade agreements. Most of all of these contain investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions.

The EU as such has only ratified one treaty with an ISDS mechanism, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), to which 52 European and Central Asian countries are party. The EU is also in the process of ratifying comprehensive trade agreements with Canada (CETA) and Singapore, both of which include ISDS provisions, and is currently negotiating trade deals with the US (TTIP), India, Malaysia, Vietnam and many other countries.

The EU has initiated the majority of disputes if all claims submitted by EU member states are grouped together (300 from the 28 member states put together in 2014). Only 11% of awards in favour of investors from the EU have been made public, corresponding to a total known amount of about €3.5 billion. European states altogether have been targeted in 46% of all cases (2013).

At the end of 2014, the number of intra-EU ISDS disputes amounted to 99, approximately 16% of all cases globally, half of which having been brought under the ECT.

Overall, the Czech Republic, Spain and Poland have been among the ten most frequent respondent states, while the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland have been among the ten most frequent home states of the investor.

The most well-known cases include:

Yukos (Isle of Man) vs. Russia: US$50 billion awarded in 2014 to majority shareholders of the oil and gas company (ECT invoked).

Eureko (Netherland) vs. Poland: case settled in 2005 for about €2 billion in favour of the investor, a large European insurance company (Netherland-Poland BIT invoked)

Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka (Czech Republic) vs. Slovak Republic: €553 million awarded in 2004 to the investor, one of the largest commercial banks in the Czech Republic (Czech Republic-Slovak Republic BIT invoked)

(March 2016)

IISD | 23-Jun-2017
The Energy Charter Secretariat is in expansion mode, wanting to gain access to energy resources in Africa and Asia for its current—mostly developed country—members, and extending a far-reaching (and outdated) investment protection system to investments in resource-rich countries.
National Law Review | 23-Jun-2017
Venezuela is taking its fight over a $1.4 billion arbitral award to the District of Columbia’s federal court of appeals.
PTI | 19-Jun-2017
The Income Tax Department has ordered coercive action against Cairn Energy of UK, including taking away over Rs 2,000 crore dividend and tax refund, to recover part of the Rs 10,247 crore retrospective tax.
CIS Arbitration Forum | 14-Jun-2017
Taking into account the past Belarus practice of investor – state dispute settlement, the parties are more likely to settle Manolium Processing claim as a part of the pre-arbitration negotiations than by ICSID arbitration.
Council of Canadians | 13-Jun-2017
The Norwegian government has put a pause on ’free trade’ talks given the Trudeau government’s demand for an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in the Canada-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) agreement.
No al TTIP | 13-Jun-2017
El Acuerdo Económico y Comercial Global de la Unión Europea con Canadá, más conocido como CETA, se nos ha presentado como un pacto entre países amigos para facilitar el libre comercio y las inversiones, pero esconde perversas intenciones entre sus mil seiscientas páginas de texto.
TASS | 12-Jun-2017
Yukos will hardly appeal against the Belgian court’s ruling, the lawyer of the Russian Federation Niuscha Bassiri said.
La Tribune | 9-Jun-2017
Un tribunal arbitral vient de mettre fin au bras de fer qui oppose l’Etat algérien à l’homme d’affaires égyptien Naguib Sawiris. Il a rejeté la réclamation de 4 milliards de dollars émise par ce dernier contre Alger.
Alternatives économiques | 8-Jun-2017
Une remise à plat complète du règlement des différends entre investisseurs et États est nécessaire pour pouvoir mener l’indispensable transition écologique et sociale de nos sociétés
The Hindu | 8-Jun-2017
As India prepares to resume FTA talks with the EU, a recent landmark decision by the European Court of Justice on investor-state dispute settlement assumes importance.

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