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).

Photo: War on Want

(April 2020)

Ecologistas en Acción | 3-Dec-2021
El pleno del Ayuntamiento de Cádiz aprueba una moción instando al Gobierno de España a abandonar el Tratado de la Carta de la Energía (TCE).
TASS | 2-Dec-2021
Former shareholders tried to collect $50 billion from Russia.
Ascent Resources | 1-Dec-2021
the Company is now pleased to announce that it has signed a binding damages-based agreement with Enyo Law LLP which will be advancing the disbursements which are expected to be incurred in the pursuit of the claim.
Explique moi le commerce | 24-Nov-2021
Que va-t-il changer? Va-t-il être ratifié? Peut-il renforcer les droits humains en Chine? etc.
CNBC | 24-Nov-2021
Five fossil fuel companies are already known to be seeking over $18 billion in compensation from governments over energy policy changes and most of these have been brought via the Energy Charter Treaty.
No TCI | 23-Nov-2021
Hay un escollo del que nadie hablará en la COP26 que puede minar cualquier acuerdo alcanzado estas semanas para reducir el uso de combustibles fósiles: el Tratado de la Carta de la Energía (TCE).
ICLG | 23-Nov-2021
On 1 September 2021, Angola’s National Assembly ratified the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID).
EU Observer | 18-Nov-2021
The Belgian Appeal Court delivered a landmark ruling in what Kazakhstan’s legal representatives described as "one of the biggest frauds in the history of international arbitration."
Romania-Insider | 17-Nov-2021
The court accepted Roşia Montana’s inclusion on the UNESCO heritage list as a piece of evidence, as an argument for the "bad faith of the Romanian state" invoked by the Canadian company.
France 24 | 16-Nov-2021
Governments which enact climate legislation risk being sued for trillions of dollars by fossil fuel companies seeking compensation for lost revenue and stranded assets.

0 | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 60 | 70 | 80 | ... | 1660