EU

Toward a Code of Conduct for Investment Adjudicators: Can ethical standards salvage ISDS?

The idea of entrusting party-appointed arbitrators with powers to decide investor–state disputes through final and binding awards, inherited from commercial arbitration and traditionally accepted as appropriate, now causes discomfort among critics.

News  |  September 19, 2019

EU–China investment negotiations: Advances on national treatment, financial services

Talks for an EU–China BIT have made some progress in the areas of financial services and national treatment, according to a report circulated by the European Commission in July, with another negotiating round planned for the week of September 23.

News  |  September 19, 2019

Energy Charter Treaty: EU Council endorses negotiating directives for Brussels

The European Council has approved negotiating directives for the EU’s participation in talks to modernize the ECT, confirming its decision during a meeting on July 2, 2019.

News  |  June 27, 2019

EU Commission proposes negotiating directives for ECT modernization

The EC released on May 14 a set of draft negotiating directives setting out its proposed approach in “modernizing” the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

News  |  June 27, 2019

CJEU finds ICS in Canada–EU CETA to be in line with EU law

The CJEU has deemed that the ICS included in the Canada–EU CETA is consistent with EU law, issuing its final opinion on April 30, 2019.

News  |  June 27, 2019

China, EU leaders announce 2020 target for investment deal

Leaders from China and the EU have pledged to finalize negotiations for their Comprehensive Investment Agreement next year, announcing their target date and further details about the process during a summit in Brussels, Belgium, on April 9, 2019.

News  |  April 23, 2019

Achmea judgement fallout: 22 EU member states agree to terminate intra-EU BITs

Twenty-two EU member states endorsed a political declaration on January 15, 2019, where they announced a series of actions involving existing intra-EU BITs and upcoming or ongoing investment arbitration.

News  |  April 23, 2019

European Economic and Social Committee recommends improvements, clarifications for MIC discussions

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has weighed in on the European Commission’s recommendation for a European Council decision to launch negotiations on the proposed MIC, supporting discussions on ISDS reform while noting areas for improvement.

News  |  April 23, 2019

CJEU Advocate General finds ICS in line with EU law, final court ruling pending

CJEU Advocate General Yves Bot issued a non-binding opinion on January 29, 2019, deeming that the ICS included in the Canada–EU CETA is compatible with EU law. Bot assessed the ICS against the EU Treaty, the TFEU and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

News  |  April 23, 2019

New EU framework on foreign investment screening takes effect in April

The European Union’s new framework for screening FDI is due to take effect in April 2019, with the text now published in the EU’s Official Journal. The framework allows both EU member states and the European Commission until October 2020 to enact the changes required.

News  |  April 23, 2019

UNCITRAL Working Group III holds New York session

Delegates had a new round of deliberations for multilateral reform of ISDS at UNCITRAL from April 1 to 5. The meeting of Working Group III, which is tasked with this process, was held in New York.

News  |  December 21, 2018

European Union moves swiftly toward adopting regulation on screening foreign direct investment

On November 20, 2018, the European Parliament, Council and Commission reached political agreement on an EU framework for screening FDI, and on December 11, 2018, the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament endorsed the political agreement.

News  |  December 21, 2018

European Union signs trade and investment agreements with Singapore; EU–Japan EPA to enter into force on February 2019

On October 19, 2018, Singapore and the European Union signed political and trade agreements as well as the EU–Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (IPA).

News  |  July 30, 2018

European Commission communication on protection of intra-EU investment rejects ECT as a basis for intra-EU ISDS

On July 19, 2018, the European Commission (EC) published a communication to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (EU) titled Protection of Intra-EU Investment.

News  |  July 30, 2018

Update on EU trade and investment negotiations: Japan, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico

On July 17, 2018, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the Japan–European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA).

ICSID tribunal finds Spain in breach of the FET standard under the Energy Charter Treaty

MASDAR SOLAR & WIND COOPERATIEF U.A. V. THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/14/1

Achmea: The Beginning of the End for ISDS in and with Europe?

Current and future investment treaties and chapters involving EU member states or the Union itself may be profoundly impacted by a landmark ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In this piece, the author explores the judgement from an EU constitutional point of view and analyzes potential consequences. Did the Achmea ruling come as a surprise to EU law insiders?

News  |  April 24, 2018

Council of the European Union adopts negotiating directives: EU Commission to negotiate a convention establishing a multilateral investment court

On March 20, 2018, the Council of the European Union adopted negotiating directives authorizing the European Commission to negotiate a convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes.

News  |  December 21, 2017

EU–Japan EPA negotiations finalized without investment; EU–Mexico updated FTA nears completion

On December 8, 2017, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the finalization of the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and Japan.

News  |  December 21, 2017

EU continues efforts toward establishing multilateral investment court, despite sharp criticism

Beyond advancing its Investment Court System (ICS) proposal in bilateral negotiations, the European Union continues its efforts toward establishing a multilateral investment court (MIC).

News  |  December 21, 2017

Belgium requests CJEU for an opinion on the compatibility of ICS in CETA with EU law

On September 6, 2017, Belgium submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) a request for an opinion on the compatibility of the ICS with the European Treaties.

News  |  September 26, 2017

EU launches consultation on prevention and resolution of intra-EU investment disputes

On July 31, 2017 the European Commission launched a consultation on the prevention and amicable resolution of disputes between investors and public authorities within the European Union.

News  |  September 26, 2017

Canada–EU CETA to be provisionally applied as of September 21, 2017

After Canada’s ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on May 17, 2017, Canada and the European Commission agreed to start the provisional application of the agreement on September 21, 2017.

News  |  September 26, 2017

EU and Japan reach agreement in principle on EPA; ISDS remains fully open

The European Union and Japan announced on July 6, 2017 that they reached an agreement in principle on the main elements of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Intra-EU Investment Protection: Up the Creek Without a Paddle

In theory, the common European market works based on principles that protect intra-EU cross-border investments. In practice, can these principles be reconciled with dozens of intra-EU BIT still in place?

News  |  June 12, 2017

EU General Court annuls Commission decision that refused registration of “Stop TTIP”

In September 2014, the European Commission refused to register a petition signed by over three million EU citizens requesting the Commission to stop trade and investment negotiations with the United States and refrain from concluding the CETA with Canada.

News  |  June 12, 2017

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

The European Court of Justice published its Opinion 2/15 on the European Union–Singapore FTA on May 16, 2017.

The Power to Conclude the New Generation of EU FTAs: AG Sharpston in Opinion 2/15

Can the European Union act alone in concluding agreements such as CETA and the EU–Singapore FTA? Or must EU member states also ratify them? ECJ Advocate General Sharpston discusses the allocation of powers in the field of investment under EU law.

News  |  March 13, 2017

CETA approved by EU Parliament; provisional application depends on ratification by Canada

On February 15, 2017, the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed by Canada and the European Union on October 30, 2016 after seven years of negotiations. The agreement was approved by 408 Members of the European Parliament and rejected by 254, with 33 abstentions. As reported in ITN, this approval paves the […]

News  |  March 13, 2017

European Union and Canada co-host discussions on a multilateral investment court

On December 13 and 14, 2016, the European Commission and the Canadian Government co-hosted exploratory discussions on establishing a multilateral investment court. Government representatives from several countries attended the closed-door meeting in Geneva. Upon concluding CETA, the two hosts had vowed to “work expeditiously” to create a permanent investment court, building on the ICS mechanism included in the agreement. The goal of […]

News  |  March 13, 2017

Following criticisms of CETA, academics propose reforms in EU trade and investment policy and negotiations

On December 5, 2016, the Belgian region of Wallonia published the Namur Declaration, proposing to change EU trade policy and negotiations. The document was initially signed by 40 academics from several countries, including Paul Magnette, Minister-President of Wallonia. The region made the news in October 2016, when its parliament temporarily blocked the approval of CETA by the Belgian […]

News  |  December 12, 2016

Trump election affects mega-regional negotiations including TTIP, TPP and RCEP

In September, EU officials recognized that the negotiations on the EU–U.S. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were unlikely to be concluded before the end of U.S. President Barack Obama’s mandate.

News  |  December 12, 2016

CETA signed; Canada and European Union to “work expeditiously” on creating a Multilateral Investment Court

On October 30, during the 16th European Union–Canada Summit held in Brussels, the two negotiating partners signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), after seven years of negotiations.

News  |  August 10, 2016

News in Brief

Brexit and contentious topics complicate TTIP negotiations; public opposition continues

EU negotiation agenda to continue despite Brexit; MERCOSUR and Indonesia at sight

United Kingdom makes trade and investment negotiation moves for post-Brexit era

CETA to be concluded as a mixed agreement; commission hopes for signing in october

RCEP partners conclude 13th negotiating round in auckland; three further rounds in 2016

India takes steps to reform its investment policy framework after approving new model bit

News  |  August 10, 2016

United Kingdom makes trade and investment negotiation moves for post-Brexit era

On July 8, 2016, Sajid Javid, former Business Secretary for the United Kingdom, launched preliminary talks with India on a future trade relationship between the two countries as soon as Britain formally leaves the European Union.

News  |  August 10, 2016

CETA to be concluded as a mixed agreement; Commission hopes for signing in October

On July 5, 2016, the European Commission proposed to the Council that the Canada–European Union CETA—agreed to in 2014 and re-concluded in February 2016—be signed as a “mixed agreement,” requiring signature and ratification by each of the EU member states.

Is ISDS in EU Trade Agreements Legal under EU Law?

Legality of investor–state dispute settlement (including in the form of an Investment Court System) in EU trade agreements under EU law is a contentious issue. This article details four legal objections raised by academics and legal experts, and discusses the potential for a legal challenge of ISDS under EU law.

News  |  February 29, 2016

Germany’s judges and public prosecutors reject proposed investment court system in TTIP

In a statement issued in early February 2016, the German Association of Judges (known by its German acronym, DRB) firmly rejected the proposal published by the European Commission on September 16, 2015 to establish an Investment Court System (ICS) under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States.

News  |  February 29, 2016

Standing tribunal included in European Union–Vietnam FTA 

On December 2, 2015, the European Union and Vietnam signed a free trade agreement (FTA), closing three years of negotiations.

News  |  February 29, 2016

European Commission gives in to pressures for increased transparency of TTIP texts

All 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEP) will have comprehensive access to all confidential documents relating to TTIP negotiations.

Awards  |  February 29, 2016

ICSID tribunal dismisses final claim for compensation in relation to Hungary’s 2008 termination of power purchase agreement

Electrabel S.A. v. Republic of Hungary, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/1

Working by Design: New Ideas to Empower U.S. and European Workers in TTIP

This paper provides an overview of how the European Union and the United States promote labour rights in trade and investment agreements. It then warns that language in the investment and regulatory coherence chapters may contradict the language in the labour rights chapters. Finally, the paper suggests ways that TTIP can be redesigned to benefit workers and promote employment, based on interviews with 23 eminent scholars as well as original ideas from the author.

News  |  May 21, 2015

European Commission addresses TTIP concerns at European Parliament meeting

At a March 18, 2015 meeting at the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström presented four “preliminary ideas” to address public concerns about investment in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in negotiation between the European Union and the United States. To prevent conflicts of interest resulting from the dual […]