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The judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union may change the outcome of the arbitration Achmea B.V. v Slovak Republic

28. 06. 2017

On 19 June 2017 the hearing in Case 284/16 Achmea v Slovak Republic before the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) took place.  The case was referred to the CJEU by the German Federal Supreme Court.  The question before the CJEU is whether the arbitral tribunal constituted in the case Achmea v Slovak Republic under the Netherlands-Slovak Republic Bilateral Investment Treaty could exercise jurisdiction.  The case is likely to have repercussions for all investment treaties between EU Member States.

Achmea argued in favour of jurisdiction and was supported at the hearing by five EU Member States (Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, and Finland).  The Slovak Republic argued against the exercise of jurisdiction and was supported by ten EU Member States (Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania) and the European Commission.  If the CJEU followed the Slovak Republic's view, the arbitral award in the case Achmea v Slovak Republic would likely be annulled by the German Federal Supreme Court.

The Advocate-General of the CJEU appointed for this case is due to issue an opinion on 19 September 2017.  This opinion will not be legally binding on the CJEU and the Court may choose to follow that opinion or not.  The CJEU's judgment is expected to be issued later this year or in early 2018.  For the avoidance of doubt, it is the CJEU's judgment and not the Advocate-General's opinion that will decide the case.

Press department
Ministry of Finance of the SR