According to Advocate General Maciej Szpunar, the Micula case is symbolic of the ‘conflictual relationship’ between EU law and international investment law. Indeed, the European Commission has persistently objected to the execution of the ICSID award issued in Micula, not because of the principles of autonomy and mutual trust that underpinned the Achmea judgment, but…

The Achmea saga has taken yet another twist. In a recent communication to the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate disclosed that it initiated “anti-arbitration” proceedings before the German courts on 11 May 2021 to “avert” two ECT-based ICSID arbitrations brought against it by the German energy companies RWE and Uniper (“Communication”)….

The investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism provided by Art. 26 (2) (c) of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is highly relevant to the protection of intra-EU investments.1)In 2018, about 45 per cent of all treaty-based intra-EU investment arbitrations were brought pursuant to the ECT. See UNCTAD, Fact Sheet on Intra-European Union Investor-State Arbitration Cases, IIA…

Many have long feared that the end of intra-EU BIT arbitration brought about by Achmea would soon be followed by the end of contract-based intra-EU ISDS. Although Advocate General (AG) Kokott’s recent Opinion in Case C-109/20 Poland v. PL Holdings allows for a glimmer of hope for non-treaty-based investment disputes, a closer reading of the…

Intra-EU investment agreements and arbitration have been a highly divisive issue in European policy circles for decades. The European Commission has been forcefully pushing for the termination of these agreements since the early 2000s. It criticised inter alia that intra-EU investment agreements and arbitration undermine the European legal order and create inequality among European investors…

No doubt, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has become the hottest topic in the investment treaty arbitration world. Not only are EU Member States the most frequent respondent in ECT disputes – for example, the Netherlands has recently received its first ECT claim – but the ECT itself is currently in the middle of a…

On 15 January 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“DC Circuit Court”) handed down its decision in LLC SPC Stileks v. Republic of Moldova, No. 19-7106 (D.C. Cir. 2021)—a case concerning the confirmation of an arbitral award against the Republic of Moldova. The US courts confirmed the award…

While the United Kingdom (“UK”) was a member of the European Union (“EU”), the power of the English courts to grant anti-suit injunctions was considerably constrained by EU law. Now that the UK has left the EU, it is worth asking the question: are anti-suit injunctions back on the menu? This blog post provides a…

On 3 December 2020, Belgium announced the submission of a request to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) for an opinion on whether the intra-European application of the arbitration provisions of the future modernised Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) are compatible with the EU Treaties. Belgium indicated that the purpose of its request…

On 5 May 2020, which tellingly was the day before the last day in office of the President of the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) Voßkuhle, the Bundesverfassungsgericht rendered its judgment on the constitutionality of the participation of the German Central Bank (Bundesbank) and the German Government in the European Central Bank (ECB)’s programme…

On 11 December 2019, the Advocate General Priit Pikamäe delivered its Opinion recommending the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) to declare that it does not have jurisdiction to rule in infringement of European Union (“EU”) law proceedings concerning the long-running border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia, which the CJEU endorsed in the…

The Paris Court of Appeal has recently sought a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the interpretation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) in the ongoing Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy case.   A 20-Year-Old Tale The Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy case highlights the contradicting approaches to…

Readers of the Kluwer Arbitration Blog will be very familiar with the drama surrounding the European Union’s (EU) pushback against intra-EU investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) as contained in intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and in particular the “clap of thunder” Achmea (C-284/16) judgment (on this blog see, e.g. here). According to the Court of Justice…

In a striking new episode of the long-running Micula saga, the General Court of the CJEU has quashed the European Commission’s 2015 decision that Romania’s payment of the €178 million award rendered by an ICSID tribunal back in 2013 would constitute illegal State aid in the meaning of Article 107 of the TFEU. In its…

Introduction In September 2017, Belgium requested the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) on the compatibility with EU law of the Investment Court System (“ICS”) provided for by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (“CETA”). Last January, Advocate General Bot concluded that this mechanism for…

The CERSA (CNRS- University Paris II Panthéon-Assas) organized its third event in a series of seminars on selected topics in international investment law and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) (for the report of the first seminar, see here). The seminar on Topical issues in ISDS: EU Investment Law was held in Paris on 7 February 2019…

Introduction On 7 September 2017, Belgium requested the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) on the compatibility with EU law of the Investment Court System (“ICS”) provided for by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (“CETA”). In his much anticipated opinion rendered today, Advocate General…

On 6 June 2018, Justice Males at English High court in Nori Holdings Ltd v Bank Financial Corp [2018] EWHC 1343 (Comm) (Nori Holdings) provided clarifications on some of the legal issues on anti-suit injunctions. The facts revolved around an application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain the court proceedings commenced by the defendant (Bank)…

Also reporting: Chuba Nwokedi (Association for International Arbitration), Mateusz Rys (University of Antwerp), Maryam Salehijam (Ghent University), Anmol Sheth (Association for International Arbitration), Arthur Van Den Bossche (University of Antwerp), Antonia Zydek (University of Strathclyde) It has long been said that investment treaty arbitration is at crossroads. This is probably most true within the European…

The first half of the year has been a rollercoaster when it comes to BITs and ISDS, in particular in Europe. Several developments at various levels can be distinguished with one common denominator: for better or for worse, the European Union (EU) and EU law have become one of the key drivers in shaping international…

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) is not an ordinary court but a political court, which means that it is strongly influenced in making its decisions by the political beliefs of the European Commission. The 6 March 2018 judgment of the CJEU’s Grand Chamber in Slovak Republic v. Achmea BV is a…

On 6 March 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU“) delivered its ruling in the case of Slovak Republic v Achmea (“Achmea“), holding that the investor-state arbitration provisions in a bilateral investment treaty (“BIT“) between the Netherlands and the Slovak Republic are invalid, as they are incompatible with EU law. In…

On March 6, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in its 12-page judgment backed the Commission in its grid to finally scrap the intra-EU BITs and defied Advocate General’s attempt to preserve the system. The purpose of this note is to concisely analyze this far-reaching judgment of the CJEU against the…

Many arbitration lawyers’ initial reaction to the CJEU’s Achmea judgment resembles the first three of the famous “five stages of grief” (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). Some deny Achmea’s relevance under international law, others angrily dismiss it as unreasoned and politically motivated, while many attempts to “bargain” a way out for intra-EU arbitrations under…