On 26 May 2020, the European Commission launched a public consultation on cross-border investment within the EU.
Why this initiative?
First, the Commission is currently working on a new regulatory framework for intra-EU investments in order to make the internal market more attractive for foreign investors. The main objective of the future legislation will be to better protect and facilitate cross-border investments (see communication COM/2020/102, A New Industrial Strategy for Europe).
Second, following the Achmea judgment of the European Court of Justice (Case C-284/16), an agreement for the termination of intra-EU bilateral investment treaties has recently been adopted by a broad majority of Member States. At the same time, many investors but also arbitration practitioners have raised concerns because of this brutal change in the regulatory framework. They principally invoke the loss of effective enforcement of their rights within the EU.
The main topics of the consultation are as follows: the first section contains some general questions aimed at gaining inputs on respondents’ familiarity with cross-border investments and linked issues; the second seeks feedback from stakeholders on rules to protect intra-EU investments; the third invites views on enforcement of intra-EU investment protection rules, including dispute resolution mechanisms and remedies when issues related to cross-border investments arise; the fourth section contains some general questions to assess the overall EU investment protection framework (as presented in section two and three); the fifth section seeks views of stakeholders on measures to facilitate and promote cross-border investment.
The consultation is open until 8 September 2020 and can be found here.