Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details (2017) 493 final
Publication Date 20/03/2018
Content Type

Further information:

This initiative aims at setting up a framework for the resolution of international investment disputes that is permanent, independent and legitimate; transparent and efficient proceedings and allowing for third party interventions (including for example interested environmental or labour organisations).

This initiative intends to only deal with procedural issues. Matters such as the applicable law or standards of interpretation, including ensuring the consistency with other international obligations (for example from International Labour Organisation and UN Conventions) should be addressed in the underlying investment agreements to be applied by the Multilateral Investment Court.

Background information:

The inclusion of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in trade and investment agreements became subject to increased public scrutiny and questioning. A number of problems were identified as stemming from ISDS, which is based on the principles of arbitration. These problems include the lack of or limited legitimacy, consistency and transparency of ISDS as well as the absence of a possibility of review.

To address these limitations, the European Union tried since 2015 to institutionalise a system for the resolution of investment disputes in EU trade and investment agreements through the inclusion of the Investment Court System (ICS). However, due to its bilateral nature, the ICS cannot fully address all the aforementioned problems. Moreover, the inclusion of ICSs in Union agreements has costs in terms of administrative complexity and budgetary impact.

The initative was published as part of a package of measures relating to external trade and investment, put into context by a Communication on 'A Balanced and Progressive Trade Policy to Harness Globalisation'.

The European Commission released on 13 September 2017 a Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising negotiations for a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes.

The Council of the European Union adopted the negotiating directives on 20 March 2018.

Source Link
Related Links
EUR-Lex: SWD(2017)302: Impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2017)303: Executive summary of the impact assessment
ESO: Background information: Prospects for a Multilateral Investment Court
EP: EPRS: Briefing: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment, November 2017: Multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 20.03.18: Multilateral investment court: Council gives mandate to the Commission to open negotiations

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