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)

Friends of the Earth Europe | 16-Nov-2017
English translation of the German Association of Judges opinion on the proposal for the Multilateral Investment Court system (MIC).
Bloomberg | 15-Nov-2017
An international arbitration tribunal in February will begin trial on Vodafone’s challenge to India using a retrospective legislation to seek Rs 22,100 crore in taxes.
L’Orient le Jour | 15-Nov-2017
Une grande partie du problème tient aux traités bilatéraux et aux dispositions sur l’investissement inscrites dans les accords commerciaux plus généraux.
Project Syndicate | 9-Nov-2017
Much of the problem can be traced to bilateral investment treaties and investment rules embedded within broader trade pacts.
Alternatives Economiques | 9-Nov-2017
Plusieurs modifications indispensables auraient dû être apportées au CETA pour le rendre climato-compatible.
RAPSI | 4-Nov-2017
Court proceedings over seizure of Russian property in Belgium, initiated by former shareholders of Yukos oil corporation, have been cancelled.
Blastingnews | 31-Oct-2017
El CETA es eso que han aprobado mientras os contaban lo malos que son en Venezuela y Cataluña
No al TTIP | 31-Oct-2017
Desde la Campaña No al TTIP queremos expresar nuevamente nuestro rechazo tanto a la ratificación de este tratado por parte del Senado español como a su aplicación provisional.
EU Observer | 31-Oct-2017
The Commission is currently gearing up to begin negotiating separate deals with Australia and New Zealand.
Stock Market Wire | 30-Oct-2017
The High Court has dismissed an application by Ukraine to set aside the Uncitral arbitration award in favour of JKX Oil & Gas.

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