Capital Markets Union: Commission provides guidance on protection of cross-border EU investments

The Commission has today issued guidance to help EU investors to invoke their rights before national administrations and courts and to help Member States to protect the public interest in compliance with EU law.

Today’s Communication aims to strengthen the business environment for EU investors. This is a crucial element in supporting more investment in the EU single market. EU law does not solve all problems investors may face in their activities. However, the Communication clarifies that EU law protects EU investors’ rights, and investors can enforce these rights before national administrations and courts. EU investors can no longer rely on intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (‘intra-EU BITs’). As the Commission has consistently stated, these treaties are illegal as they overlap with the EU single market rules and discriminate between EU investors. In a recent judgment (on the Achmea case), the Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed that investor-State arbitration in intra-EU BITs is illegal. Following this judgment, the Commission has intensified its dialogue with all Member States, calling on them to take action to terminate the intra-EU BITs. A full press release and MEMO can be found online.