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)

Dominican Republic Lawyer | 8-Oct-2008
An arbitration tribunal constituted under the France-Dominican Republic Bilateral Investment Treaty released an award last week ruling on the jurisdictional objections raised by the Dominican Republic in a claim brought by TCW and its parent company.
| 28-Sep-2008
Until the Philippine government and Fraport AG (Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide) have resolved all the legal issues and Fraport fairly compensated, the NAIA Terminal 3 is unlikely to attract long term locators, according to German ambassador to the Philippines Christian Ludwig Weber-Lortsch.
| 28-Jul-2008
A British water company thrown out of Tanzania over a bungled privatisation deal has failed in its bid to win up to £10m in damages.
REDES-AT | 8-Jul-2008
La nota enviada por el Banco Europeo de Inversiones al gobierno uruguayo es una muestra clara de cómo operan las instituciones financieras internacionales: prestan primero y exigen de inmediato
Corporate Europe Observatory | 7-Mar-2008
Running their business via a letterbox company in the Netherlands, transnational corporations profit from the corporate-friendly Dutch tax regime and bilateral investment treaties the Netherlands has with third countries. Euro Telecom Italia (ETI), a subsidiary of Italian telecoms giant ENTEL, is one such letterbox company. ETI recently lodged a complaint with the World Bank tribunal ICSID against Bolivia for compensation, after the Bolivian government had launched a review the company’s much-criticised performance and attempted to negotiate a buy back of what used to be a public telecommunications company.
FWI | 9-Nov-2007
A group of Dutch farmers is one step closer to gaining compensation for land and farms lost to the government of Zimbabwe, after a recent hearing in Paris.
Polaris Institute | 24-Aug-2007
French media and telecoms group Vivendi said on Tuesday it had been awarded $105 million in compensation at the end of a decade-long dispute with Argentinian authorities about a former water concession.
PDI | 19-Aug-2007
The World Bank has dismissed the claim for compensation from the Philippine government over the Naia Terminal 3 project of Germany’s Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide (Fraport)
The Guardian | 17-Aug-2007
Tanzania was glad to secure the services of a British-led consortium to run the newly privatised water system in its capital Dar es Salaam. But then the price of water started to rise
| 11-May-2007
A recently spawned legal battle between Slovakia and Madeta, the Czech Republic’s largest dairy processor, has led to a discovery that, for the past 10 years, Slovakia has not honored a trade agreement signed between the countries during the Velvet Divorce.

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