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)

Le Vent Se Lève | 6-May-2019
Le mécanisme ICS est sans aucun doute un scandale sanitaire, écologique, économique, public, politique, mais en aucun cas un scandale juridique, du moins du point de vue du droit communautaire européen.
EU Observer | 30-Apr-2019
But legality should not be our main concern here. There are much better approaches to international investment and we should be considering them.
Client Earth | 30-Apr-2019
In a disappointing judgment, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has ruled today that the investment court system in the Canadian EU trade agreement (CETA) is compatible with EU law.
CNCD-11.11.11 | 30-Apr-2019
Si le CETA et les accords semblables sont compatibles avec le droit, ils restent incompatibles avec les principes de justice climatique et sociale.
Stop ISDS | 30-Apr-2019
The judgement is disappointing but The case against ISDS (or its rebranded version ICS) has never been primarily a legal one. It is a moral one.
Mobile World Live | 29-Apr-2019
Axiata Group’s UK subsidiary and Nepal mobile unit filed a request for arbitration with the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, regarding a capital gains tax bill levied by Nepali authorities.
Amis de la Terre | 29-Apr-2019
30 organisations de la société civile demandent la fin du mécanisme d’arbitrage entre investisseurs et États qui bénéficie exclusivement aux investisseurs étrangers au détriment des Etats et des citoyens et mine la démocratie.
CIAR Global | 26-Apr-2019
El empresario español Alejandro Díaz Gaspar ha presentado una demanda de arbitraje por 100 millones de dólares contra Costa Rica ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones (CIADI) vinculada al sector alimentario.
Le Figaro | 26-Apr-2019
Le groupe de gestion de l’eau et des déchets Suez a annoncé avoir touché une indemnité de l’Argentine pour la résiliation d’un contrat décidée par le gouvernement argentin en 2006, en application d’une décision arbitrale.
Buenos Aires Times | 26-Apr-2019
French water and waste management company receives compensation from the government, settling one of its legal disputes with country dating back to Néstor Kirchner’s presidency.

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