Europe

European Union (EU) member states have signed over 1300 investment treaties with third countries, in addition to some 200 between EU members. Non-EU European states are party to over 500 treaties. Most of these contain investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, which enable foreign corporations to take ISDS claims against states if they deem their profits or potential investment to be affected by new laws or changes in policy.

The EU has ratified four agreements with an ISDS mechanism: the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), to which 53 European and Central Asian countries are party, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, and agreements with Vietnam and Singapore. Only the ECT has been fully in force. The ISDS provisions in the three others will be implemented after all member states have ratified them.

These three deals also include a revised ISDS mechanism created by the European Commission, known as the investment court system. Many critics say that this new system is largely window-dressing and does not address the core of the problem behind investor-state dispute measures.

In 2015, the European Commission asked the EU member states to terminate their intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (BITs), arguing they are incompatible with EU law, which was confirmed by the Court of Justice of the European Union in its “Achmea” decision.

As of April 2020, the number of intra-EU ISDS disputes amounted to 170, approximately 17% of all cases globally, 76 of which having been brought under the ECT.

Overall investors from European countries have initiated over 600 ISDS cases, half of which are against non-European states. European countries have been targeted in about 350 cases. Grouped together, investors from EU member states have launched the majority of total disputes (over 400).

Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Ukraine have been among the ten most frequent respondent states, while the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Italy 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).

(April 2020)

EurActiv | 21-Apr-2015
La moitié des commissions du Parlement européen ont repoussé le dispositif de règlement des différends du traité, laissant augurer d’une majorité incertaine.
EurActiv | 21-Apr-2015
Half of the European Parliament’s committees have rejected the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’s investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, casting doubt over the trade deal’s prospects of to passing through Parliament.
TNI | 14-Apr-2015
In response to growing public criticism of international investment law, a new lobby group has emerged, EFILA, seeking to influence European officials.
Observatoire des Multinationales | 14-Apr-2015
An international arbitral tribunal has just ordered Argentina to pay nearly 400 million Euro to Suez because in 2006, after years of conflict, Argentina renationalized the water services in Buenos Aires.
Observatoire des Multinationales | 13-Apr-2015
Un tribunal arbitral international vient de condamner l’Argentine à verser près de 400 millions d’euros à Suez environnement, pour avoir renationalisé le service de l’eau de Buenos Aires en 2006, après des années de conflits.
Business Standard | 30-Mar-2015
Cairn Energy Plc’s demand for compensation from India for the Rs 10,200 crore tax notice slapped on Cairn India earlier this month under the ambit of the India-UK Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) has divided those in the government and those outside it.
CNBC | 30-Mar-2015
According to sources ay India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes, tax matters are not covered under UK-India bilateral Investment treaty (BIT).
Economic Times | 25-Mar-2015
Cairn Plc is seeking compensation from the government of India for the steep fall in the value of its shares in Vedanta-controlled Cairn India, which it is not allowed to sell until it settles a controversial retrospective tax demand of $1.60 billion, under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty.
The Guardian | 25-Mar-2015
A future government must be allowed to expand the NHS without facing legal challenge under a proposed new EU-US trade deal, according to a sharply critical report from an all-party committee of MPs.
Deutsche Welle | 23-Mar-2015
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has pledged to prevent any clauses in a US-EU trade deal that go against the ideals of his party, the Social Democrats - including protection clauses called for by the US.

0 | ... | 940 | 950 | 960 | 970 | 980 | 990 | 1000 | 1010 | 1020 | ... | 1160