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)

Energy Voice | 12-Sep-2019
The European Commission is taking steps to reduce the prospect of future claims by demanding the reform of the Energy Charter Treaty.
Mondaq | 12-Sep-2019
The traditional mechanism of investment arbitration between the investor and the host State has been under attack for some time now from a range of actors and for a variety of reasons.
Outlook India | 10-Sep-2019
UK’s Cairn Energy on Tuesday said the arbitration process against India on imposition of retrospective tax demand is likely to be protracted and a decision is not expected before late 2019.
Global Legal Chronicle | 6-Sep-2019
Squire Patton Boggs has successfully defended the Republic of Estonia against a US$100 million investment treaty claim brought by Estonian water provider AS Tallinna Vesi and its Dutch shareholder United Utilities.
Kapitalis | 6-Sep-2019
Le fonds d’investissement ABCI Investment, basé aux Pays-Bas, a fait effectuer une saisie sur un avoir de l’Etat tunisien, à savoir TF Bank, l’établissement bancaire tunisien basé à Paris, en France.
Euractiv | 4-Sep-2019
Critics say the Energy Charter provides excessive legal protection for oil and gas companies, which can claim uncapped reparations from governments who frustrate investments in fossil fuel projects.
Mediapart | 3-Sep-2019
Interview en marge du Contre G7 en France.
CIAR Global | 30-Aug-2019
La belga Sapec se ha unido a todas las compañías que ya han demandado a España vía arbitraje del CIADI por las normativas relacionadas con las energías renovables.
Reuters | 28-Aug-2019
A World Bank tribunal has ordered Colombia to repay a $19 million fine it levied on Glencore’s coal mining subsidiary Prodeco.
Energy Voice | 20-Aug-2019
These recent awards indicate that investors now have the upper hand in their ECT claims against EU states.

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