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Expedited settlement of commercial disputes in the European Union

05-12-2018

The EU legal services market is the second largest in the world. Commercial, business to business (B2B) litigation is one of the largest segments of the legal services market. The EU measures on choice of law, choice of forum and enforcement proved to be successful in supporting EU competitiveness. However, to enhance competitiveness of the EU litigation market and ensure further growth, a set of EU measures to simplify and expedite settlement of commercial disputes is needed. The EU measures should ...

The EU legal services market is the second largest in the world. Commercial, business to business (B2B) litigation is one of the largest segments of the legal services market. The EU measures on choice of law, choice of forum and enforcement proved to be successful in supporting EU competitiveness. However, to enhance competitiveness of the EU litigation market and ensure further growth, a set of EU measures to simplify and expedite settlement of commercial disputes is needed. The EU measures should focus on the enhancement of procedural efficiency, among other things, by taking action to reduce length of procedure. The 2018 European Added Value Assessment (EAVA) suggests that the EU actions to expedite settlement of commercial disputes could generate European added value for the EU economy and businesses in the range of 4.6 to 5.7 billion EUR annually. The European added value can be created through increase in direct contribution of litigation services revenues to the EU economy and through reduction of opportunity costs to business associated with length of judicial proceedings.

A União Europeia e a Organização Mundial do Comércio

01-05-2018

A Organização Mundial do Comércio (OMC) trabalha a fim de garantir um sistema de comércio internacional assente em regras. Apesar do impasse nas negociações comerciais, estão a ser exploradas formas de modernizar as regras da OMC e de dar resposta aos novos desafios globais. A entrada em vigor, em fevereiro de 2017, do Acordo de Facilitação do Comércio gerou novos desenvolvimentos nas regras comerciais da OMC. Nos termos do Tratado de Lisboa, o PE legisla em conjunto com o Conselho e tem um importante ...

A Organização Mundial do Comércio (OMC) trabalha a fim de garantir um sistema de comércio internacional assente em regras. Apesar do impasse nas negociações comerciais, estão a ser exploradas formas de modernizar as regras da OMC e de dar resposta aos novos desafios globais. A entrada em vigor, em fevereiro de 2017, do Acordo de Facilitação do Comércio gerou novos desenvolvimentos nas regras comerciais da OMC. Nos termos do Tratado de Lisboa, o PE legisla em conjunto com o Conselho e tem um importante papel de controlo na política comercial internacional.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - November 2017

13-11-2017

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

From arbitration to the investment court system (ICS): The evolution of CETA rules

15-06-2017

After a public consultation on proposed reforms to investment protection and the investor-dispute settlement framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States of America, the European Parliament requested the replacement of the traditional arbitration framework with a new court system. The European Commission and Canada subsequently renegotiated the relevant provisions of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to establish a new investment ...

After a public consultation on proposed reforms to investment protection and the investor-dispute settlement framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States of America, the European Parliament requested the replacement of the traditional arbitration framework with a new court system. The European Commission and Canada subsequently renegotiated the relevant provisions of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to establish a new investment court system (ICS). The ICS departs substantially from the arbitration model, in particular on the appointment of judges. Procedurally the ICS remains similar to treaty-based arbitration proceedings and retains all the innovations introduced in the early draft of CETA. Those innovations aim, among other things, to prevent ‘forum shopping’ and abuse of the system. Some of the innovations introduced will require further decisions in CETA’s established Committees, such as on the code of conduct and decisions on appellate body judges. Some concerns raised regarding the basis for differences between ISDS and domestic court systems persist in the ICS context. These relate both to the different treatment between foreign and domestic investors, and to uncertainty regarding the compatibility of the ICS system with the principle of autonomy of the EU legal order. On this last point, however, the ICS framework can be distinguished for various reasons from past opinions on the European and Community Patent Court and the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.

CETA: Investment and the right to regulate

08-02-2017

Under international public law, states can be asked to compensate investors whenever regulatory measures become expropriation measures or violate standards of treatment, such as the 'fair and equitable treatment of investors' obligation. The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) takes a relatively restrictive approach to these investor rights.

Under international public law, states can be asked to compensate investors whenever regulatory measures become expropriation measures or violate standards of treatment, such as the 'fair and equitable treatment of investors' obligation. The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) takes a relatively restrictive approach to these investor rights.

Trade and sustainable development chapters in CETA

20-01-2017

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed in October 2016, is currently at the ratification stage. This agreement, concluded between like-minded trade partners, represents the new generation of EU free trade agreements (FTAs), and contains chapters covering sustainable development. The inclusion by the EU of sustainable development chapters in FTAs concluded with its partners plays a role in ensuring that trade and investment liberalisation does not lead to a deterioration ...

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed in October 2016, is currently at the ratification stage. This agreement, concluded between like-minded trade partners, represents the new generation of EU free trade agreements (FTAs), and contains chapters covering sustainable development. The inclusion by the EU of sustainable development chapters in FTAs concluded with its partners plays a role in ensuring that trade and investment liberalisation does not lead to a deterioration in environmental and labour conditions. In keeping with this trade policy practice, developed over the years, trade-related sustainability provisions, including labour and environmental considerations, are grouped in three chapters (Chapters 22 to 24) within CETA. CETA has only partially exceeded the dialogue-only approach contained in earlier EU trade agreements and has maintained the exclusion of trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapters from the scope of the state-to-state dispute settlement (SSDS) procedure. It also maintains an ad hoc two-stage dispute resolution mechanism already found in the EU-South Korea FTA. However, this mechanism does not include sanctions and focuses on mutually agreed solutions to problems. This choice by the EU is due to the still strongly cooperative nature of the TSD chapters. On CETA please refer also to the 'International Agreements in Progress' briefing on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada by Wilhelm Schöllmann.

International Agreements in Progress: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada

20-01-2017

EU-Canada negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) started in May 2009 and were declared concluded at the EU-Canada Summit on 26 September 2014. The agreement's overall aim is to increase flows of goods, services and investment to the benefit of both partners. For the EU, CETA represents the first comprehensive economic agreement with a highly industrialised Western economy. Except for a few sensitive agricultural products, the agreement would remove practically all tariffs ...

EU-Canada negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) started in May 2009 and were declared concluded at the EU-Canada Summit on 26 September 2014. The agreement's overall aim is to increase flows of goods, services and investment to the benefit of both partners. For the EU, CETA represents the first comprehensive economic agreement with a highly industrialised Western economy. Except for a few sensitive agricultural products, the agreement would remove practically all tariffs on goods exchanged between the two partners. Canada would substantially open up its public procurement at both federal and sub-federal level, thereby eliminating a major asymmetry in access to each other's public procurement markets. The EU succeeded in securing protection for a large number of European Geographical Indications (GIs) on the Canadian market. Provisions on sustainable development should ensure that trade and investment do not develop to the detriment of, but rather support, environmental protection and social development. CETA was signed by the EU and Canada on 30 October 2016. The Council decision on signature was only reached after difficult discussions, so that a total of 38 statements and declarations by Member States, the Commission and the Council, as well as a Joint Interpretative Instrument accompany that Council decision. The European Parliament has launched the consent procedure, with Artis Pabriks (EPP, Latvia) as rapporteur. The vote in the Committee on International Trade (INTA) is scheduled for 24 January 2017, and the vote in plenary for the February part-session in Strasbourg (13 to 16 February). Second edition. The ‘International Agreements in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 593.491, 26 October 2016.

EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

19-01-2016

EU-Canada negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) were declared concluded in September 2014. Except for a few sensitive agricultural products, CETA would remove practically all tariffs on goods exchanged between the two partners, and create important new market opportunities in, among others, financial services, telecommunications, energy and maritime transport, while reserving the parties' right to regulate their internal public affairs. Canada would substantially open ...

EU-Canada negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) were declared concluded in September 2014. Except for a few sensitive agricultural products, CETA would remove practically all tariffs on goods exchanged between the two partners, and create important new market opportunities in, among others, financial services, telecommunications, energy and maritime transport, while reserving the parties' right to regulate their internal public affairs. Canada would substantially open up its public procurement, at both federal and sub-federal level, thereby eliminating a major asymmetry in access to each other's public procurement markets. The consolidated CETA text is currently undergoing legal-linguistic review. Once this 'legal scrubbing' and the translation into all official EU languages are completed, the Commission can submit it to the Council and the European Parliament for approval. It is still to be decided whether the agreement in its entirety falls under exclusive competence of the European Union or would also touch upon Member States' competences. In the latter case, ratification by the Member States would also be necessary for the agreement to come into force. CETA brings forward a number of innovations to reform and reshape investment protection provisions in general and the investor-state-dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in particular. Nevertheless, persistent opposition to investment protection, and ISDS in particular, has given rise to proposals to incorporate (elements of) the new investment court system (ICS) into CETA. The Commission is reportedly not pressing for including its entire ICS proposal into CETA; however, it intends to 'fine-tune' the agreement within the process of legal scrubbing. Working towards including (elements of) the ICS system into CETA could then be envisaged via the use of review clauses.

The Investment Chapters of the EU’s International Trade and Investment Agreements in a Comparative Perspective

29-09-2015

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in international investment agreements have traditionally been based on an approach which may be termed ‘light touch regulation’ of investment protection. The avenue taken by the recently negotiated EU draft agreements, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), can be described as ‘more comprehensive regulation’. Likewise, EUSFTA and CETA provide a rather detailed body of law on substantive ...

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in international investment agreements have traditionally been based on an approach which may be termed ‘light touch regulation’ of investment protection. The avenue taken by the recently negotiated EU draft agreements, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), can be described as ‘more comprehensive regulation’. Likewise, EUSFTA and CETA provide a rather detailed body of law on substantive standards for the protection of foreign investment. While this may add to the clarity and predictability of the current regime of international investment law, it may also lead to a reduced standard of protection. Compared with other agreements, EUSFTA and CETA have attempted to rebalance the protection of private property and the host state’s regulatory autonomy. In terms of the regulation of ISDS proceedings, EUSFTA and CETA preserve its principle characteristics but deliver moderate change in five areas: (1) consultation mechanisms, (2) the relationship between ISDS and domestic remedies, (3) the appointment and conduct of arbitrators, (4) cost allocation, and (5) transparency rules. This study proposes (1) further development regarding the coordination between effective domestic legal systems and ISDS and (2) the start of negotiations for the establishment of a permanent appeals mechanism in a regional or bilateral context.

Assessment of Trade Defence Policy decisions for 2014

10-06-2015

This paper assesses two vital issues concerning the EU’s trade defence activities. The first aspect concerns a transparency issue and the second pertains to the practical application of the trade defence instruments. On the first aspect, the paper concludes that the Annual Report issued by the European Commission to the European Parliament on trade defence activities needs a fundamental revision in terms of structure, content and timing of its issuance. In its current format the Annual Report fails ...

This paper assesses two vital issues concerning the EU’s trade defence activities. The first aspect concerns a transparency issue and the second pertains to the practical application of the trade defence instruments. On the first aspect, the paper concludes that the Annual Report issued by the European Commission to the European Parliament on trade defence activities needs a fundamental revision in terms of structure, content and timing of its issuance. In its current format the Annual Report fails to serve the purpose for which it was conceived in the first place. As regards the practical application of the trade defence instruments, the paper demonstrates that certain recent changes in the European Commission’s practice are target-oriented. Moreover, apart from the fact that the legality of certain practices is not assured, some of the new practices could backfire against EU exporting producers if third countries, which tend to emulate the EU’s practice, were to adopt them.

Futuros eventos

05-11-2019
The Art and Craft of Political Speech-writing: A conversation with Eric Schnure
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EPRS
06-11-2019
Where next for Europe’s economy? The latest IMF European Regional Economic Outlook[.]
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EPRS
06-11-2019
EPRS Annual Lecture: Clash of Cultures: Transnational governance in post-war Europe
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