A broad agreement to officially terminate old “intra-EU BITs” – the intra-EU bilateral investment treaties that have ceased to be effective under EU legislation anyway – may make the European regulatory scenery easier to overlook.
While a pure formality for most, the move could simplify the picture for those who work close to the legal details of cross-border investment regulations. A termination agreement signed by 23 EU member states on 5 May will put an end to all bilateral investment treaties between them – upon their ratifications in each country.
The agreement follows a judgment in March 2018 by the European Court of Justice, in what is known as the Achmea case. The court there determined that investor-state arbitration clauses in the intra-EU BITs are incompatible with the currently valid EU treaties.
The 23 signatories are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.