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)

Ecofin | 19-Oct-2017
La firme exploratoire African Petroleum a annoncé avoir déposé auprès du CIRDI les documents relatifs à sa demande d’arbitrage dans le cadre du conflit qui l’oppose au gouvernement gambien.
Reuters | 19-Oct-2017
African Petroleum Corp has begun arbitration proceedings over Gambia’s decision to strip the company of its rights to explore for oil in two offshore areas.
Land Portal | 18-Oct-2017
Tanzania is currently confronting this challenge, faced with a new international investment dispute tied to a proposed large-scale sugarcane and ethanol production project.
Renewables Now | 16-Oct-2017
US clean energy company Invenergy LLC has notified the Polish authorities it plans to turn to international arbitration over its wind investments in the country, if no settlement is reached within six months.
EurActiv | 12-Oct-2017
The European Commission’s plans for a Multilateral Investment Court sanctions a biased and ineffective arbitration system, leaving people and the environment exposed to international investors’ whims.
Sun Daily | 11-Oct-2017
A group of major shareholders in dismantled Russian oil giant Yukos announced they were giving up their efforts to seize lucrative state assets as compensation in France following a series of legal setbacks.
PR Newswire | 6-Oct-2017
Hellenic Republic is found liable towards Hellenic Shipyards for more than 200 million Euros at the ICC while shareholders are pursuing the Hellenic Republic at the ICSID pursuant to the relevant Bilateral Investment Treaty.
PR Newswire | 6-Oct-2017
La CCI condamne la République Grecque à payer à Hellenic Shipyards plus de 200 millions d’euros tandis qu’un arbitrage devant le CIRDI sur la base du Traité bilatéral d’investissement applicable est en cours.
IISD | 4-Oct-2017
Le tribunal a estimé que la société requérante n’avait pas de siège social au Luxembourg et a fait preuve d’abus de droit pour « étayer la réalité de son siège social luxembourgeois »
IISD | 4-Oct-2017
The tribunal ruled that the investor did not have a head office in Luxembourg and had abused its rights to “give the impression that it had a Luxembourg head office”

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