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)

The Guardian | 10-Mar-2015
A major free trade deal should not allow US companies to sue European nations when they pass environmental laws that hurt their profits, MPs in the UK said on Tuesday.
Reuters | 6-Mar-2015
Hungary will not support any trade agreement between the United States and the European Union that impairs the jurisdiction of Hungarian courts in trade disputes, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.
EurActiv | 6-Mar-2015
Studies that promote investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) have generated misleading numbers and dubious recommendations. Legislators should approach all studies with caution, warns Gus Van Harten.
Mediapart | 2-Mar-2015
La fuite d’une note fixant la position des autorités françaises sur les négociations du traité de libre-échange avec les États-Unis (accords transatlantiques, Tafta ou TTIP) a fait naître le doute sur ce que défend ou non le gouvernement français, rapporte Mediapart.
Kluwer Arbitration Blog | 1-Mar-2015
The Russian Federation filed three writs that seek to annul the award, alleging that the arbitrators did not fulfil their mandate personally because the Tribunal’s assistant played a significant role in analyzing the evidence and legal arguments.
ViEUws | 26-Feb-2015
David Martin MEP (S&D, UK), the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the EU-Singapore trade deal, criticises the infamous ISDS (investor-to-state dispute settlement) part of the agreement.
Le Monde | 25-Feb-2015
A défaut de l’écarter complètement des négociations du Tafta/TTIP (et de son petit cousin, l’accord CETA entre l’Europe et le Canada), comme le réclame une bonne partie de la société civile, la gauche européenne souhaite réformer en profondeur ce mécanisme d’arbitrage pour limiter ses dérives.
Le Monde | 24-Feb-2015
Rather than abandoning completely the TTIP/TAFTA negotiations (and their little cousin CETA, an agreement between Canada and the EU) which is what a good part of civil society are calling for, the European Left wants to thoroughly reform this arbitral mechanism to limits its abuses.
TNI | 19-Feb-2015
Public event organised by Transnational Institute, Friends of the Earth Europe and Traidcraft on 4 March 2015 in Brussels
Counter Punch | 18-Feb-2015
The corporate media would prefer that people know nothing about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other trade deals.

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