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)

L’Humanité | 17-Jul-2019
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Maroc Hebdo | 11-Jul-2019
L’objet du litige concerne le contrat pour la construction du Tunnel des Oudayas, à Rabat, dans le cadre du projet de la vallée Bouregreg.
New Internationalist | 10-Jul-2019
ISDSs, legal mechanisms designed to favour corporate interests will be integral to any post-Brexit US-UK trade deal.
La Libre | 5-Jul-2019
Le combat pour défendre l’intérêt public, dont font partie la santé, l’environnement et les conditions dignes de travail, doit être mené à chaque fois qu’un traité de commerce international et de protection des investissements est annoncé.
IISD | 28-Jun-2019
Dans sa décision finale du 28 septembre 2017, un tribunal de la CCS ordonnait à la Pologne de verser 176 millions EUR à une société d’investissement privée basée au Luxembourg.
IISD | 28-Jun-2019
Le 30 novembre 2018, un tribunal du CIRDI déterminait que l’Espagne avait violé le Traité sur la charte de l’énergie en appliquant un nouveau régime fiscal à titre rétroactif.
Morocco World News | 27-Jun-2019
The Italian company claims that Morocco has breached the 1990 Italy-Morocco bilateral investment treaty provisions.
EU Observer | 25-Jun-2019
Behind the smiles and handshakes, the signature of the EU-Vietnam trade and investment deals - being agreed on Tuesday (25 June) and to be signed at the end of this week - have dire consequences for human well-being and our ability to prevent climate and ecological breakdown.
ERR News | 24-Jun-2019
Tallinn water utility Tallinna Vesi has seen its claim against the Estonian state overruled by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID), and has been ordered to pay costs likely to be in excess of half a million euros.
Romania Insider | 20-Jun-2019
The European Court of Justice on June 18 canceled a European Commission decision dating 2015, which established that Romania’s payment of compensation to Romanian-Swedish investors Ioan and Viorel Micula constituted illegal state aid. The European Commission also ordered the Romanian Government to recover the money already paid to the investors following an international court’s decision.

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