October 15, 2019
EU progresses slowly on CETA's investor protection chapter
Last week the European Commission presented to the European Union (EU) Council(1) four proposals for specific rules putting in place the Investment Court System (ICS) provisions in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
The fundamentals of the Investment Court System are already established in CETA. While they are not yet applied pending ratification of the agreement by all EU Member States (13 have ratified it so far), the Joint Interpretative Instrument on CETA agreed by the EU and Canada in October 2016 includes a commitment to make the system operational as soon as the agreement enters into force.
Last week's proposals are necessary to deliver on this commitment by the European Union, Member States and Canada. These rules complete the putting in place in CETA of the reformed approach to investment dispute settlement.
The proposals will now be discussed in the Council and, if all goes according to the Commission's plans, be approved by the Council and Member States. After their approval they can be formally agreed with Canada in the relevant CETA committees. They will enter into force when the ratification of CETA is completed by Member State parliaments.
(1) The European Council is the body that defines the European Union's overall political direction and priorities. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states.