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)

Global Legal Chronicle | 10-Jan-2020
Ukraine settled an investment-treaty arbitration with Russian gas company Gazprom.
Swiss Info | 10-Jan-2020
The Swiss Federal Court has ordered Russia to pay CHF80 million ($82.1 million) in damages to 12 Ukrainian firms confiscated after the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
CCFD-Terre Solidaire | 9-Jan-2020
Des communautés ont combattu des mines d’or toxiques, des forages pétroliers et des projets immobiliers de luxe. Aujourd’hui, de coûteuses poursuites en justice en vertu du règlement de différends entre investisseurs et États (ISDS) risquent d’annuler leurs victoires.
CEO | 9-Jan-2020
Inspiring people fought toxic gold mines, dirty oil drilling and greedy luxury real estate projects. Now, costly investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) lawsuits risk to reverse their community victories.
Kluwer Arbitration Blog | 8-Jan-2020
This termination agreement marks the culmination of the European Commission’s and several Member States’ efforts to abolish intra-EU investment arbitration proceedings from the European legal order.
Kluwer Arbitration Blog | 8-Jan-2020
The leaked treaty for the termination of intra-EU BITs can be seen as the culmination of an ongoing effort by the EU Commission to discourage investment arbitration between Member States, reflecting a tension between public international law and EU law.
Big Issue North | 2-Jan-2020
Commercial ISDS adjudications trump democratically established laws and controls.
Himalayan Times | 20-Dec-2019
A US-based international court issues interim order directing the Nepal government not to impose capital gains tax on Ncell buyout deal for the time being.
Inequality.org | 17-Dec-2019
Romanian and US environmental justice activists demonstrated in Washington, DC, outside a World Bank tribunal hearing on a case brought by Canadian-based Gabriel Resources.

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