ECJ rules that European Union–Singapore FTA requires ratification by EU member states

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) published its Opinion 2/15 on the European Union–Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on May 16, 2017.

It held that the treaty falls within exclusive EU competence, except for certain provisions that fall within a competence shared between the European Union and its member states. The provisions within shared competence include, among others, provisions on investment protection—insofar as they relate to portfolio investment—and investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS).

In line with the ECJ decision, the FTA with Singapore will need to be concluded as a mixed agreement, requiring ratification by the European Parliament as well as by national and regional parliaments of EU member states.