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)

El Sol de México | 21-Feb-2019
El nuevo acuerdo comercial entre la Unión Europea y Singapur permitirá a las grandes empresas demandar a los gobiernos cuando las leyes perjudiquen sus beneficios.
The Guardian | 21-Feb-2019
Investor-state dispute settlement is a threat to human rights, health and the environment, say representatives of trade unions, charities and faith groups.
Hogan Lovells | 20-Feb-2019
Claimants failed to seek an annulment of the 12 October 2018 award, which dismissed the totality of claimants’ claims against the Republic of Panama.
MENAFN | 20-Feb-2019
The Spanish Union Fenosa Gas (UFG) denies media reports that any settlement has been reached with Egypt in regard to the $2 billion dispute about the gas supply to the Damietta Liquefied Natural Gas plant.
CIAR Global | 19-Feb-2019
La reciente firma del acuerdo Singapur-Unión Europea ha avivado las campañas contra el arbitraje de inversiones incluido en los acuerdos de comercio e inversión.
Ekklesia | 19-Feb-2019
Lawyers have warned that the European investment agreement with Singapore, endorsed by the EU Parliament, may not be compatible with the law.
Interfax | 19-Feb-2019
The Permanent Court of Arbitration has announced a partial arbitration decision in favor of PrivatBank and against Russia. The question of the amount of compensation is left for the next stage of the arbitration proceedings.
Client Earth | 15-Feb-2019
This critical analysis of the AG’s Opinion will quickly recall the background and implications of the case before commenting on the most controversial points of the AG’s reasoning.
Basta | 15-Feb-2019
D’un côté, la justice européenne estime que les tribunaux privés d’arbitrage sont illégaux au sein de l’espace européen. De l’autre, le Parlement européen vient d’adouber l’accord de libre-échange avec Singapour, champion en matière d’opacité financière.
No al TTIP | 13-Feb-2019
Las organizaciones europeas que son parte de la campaña “Derechos para las personas, obligaciones para las multinacionales” expresan su decepción por la aprobación en el Parlamento Europeo de los tratados tanto de comercio como el de inversión entre UE-Singapur (EUSIPA) con 436 votos a favor y 203 votos en contra.

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