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)

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.
S&P Global | 25-Apr-2019
EU plans to extend its internal energy market rules to Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas link to Germany could breach the Energy Charter Treaty, which protects international investors, according to the Swiss-registered company building it.
Kluwer Arbitration Blog | 24-Apr-2019
After Brexit, the UK will be theoretically a suitable jurisdiction to enforce intra-EU awards.
Al Jazeera | 24-Apr-2019
In 2015, Gabriel Resources sued Romania before of the ICSID, asking for a reported four billion dollars in damages, after protests halted plans for Europe’s largest gold mine.
No al TTIP | 23-Apr-2019
La campaña No a los Tratados de Comercio e Inversión publica en castellano un informe que analiza las demandas de inversores contra Estados ante tribunales de arbitraje utilizando el Tratado sobre la Carta de la Energía.
Reuters | 19-Apr-2019
Oman’s sovereign wealth fund has withdrawn an 80 million euro claim against Bulgaria over the collapse of Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), the Bulgarian finance ministry said.
Armenian Weekly | 18-Apr-2019
The company’s Canadian and British subsidiaries have already announced their intention to initiate arbitration proceedings against Armenia in accordance with bilateral agreements if the matter is not resolved.
El Salto Diario | 16-Apr-2019
El Estado español se enfrenta a 35 demandas por el recorte a las renovables de los gobiernos de Zapatero y Rajoy. Según un nuevo informe, las indemnizaciones podrían sumar otros 6.500 millones a los 400 a los que ya ha sido condenado a pagar el Estado español.
BNE Intellinews | 11-Apr-2019
Atlas Group is seeking payment of €500mn in damages from Montenegro at an international court.
Telecompaper | 11-Apr-2019
Russian and the CIS mobile operator MTS has announced that it has filed its statement of claim in the dispute with the state of Turkmenistan at the World Bank’s ICSID.

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