The Effectiveness of European Competition Law After Opinion 1/17

May 2019

CPI EU News Column edited by Thibault Schrepel, Sam Sadden & Jan Roth (CPI) presents:

The Effectiveness of European Competition Law After Opinion 1/17 By Jan Blockx (University of Antwerp)1

 

Introduction

On April 30, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued Opinion 1/172 on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”) which the EU and its Member States intend to conclude with Canada.3 The Opinion was requested by Belgium, one of the EU’s 28 Member States, as a condition to agreeing to sign CETA in 2016. Requests for Opinions are a special procedure before Europe’s supreme judicial authority aimed at avoiding future complications from the possible conflict between the European treaties and international agreements concluded by the EU.4

General description of Opinion 1/17

Opinion 1/17 concerns the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS”) mechanism included in CETA. Among other things, CETA provides for non-discriminatory treatment and investment protection for Canadian citizens and businesses investing in the EU and for European citizens and businesses investing in Canada.5 In case a Canadian investor considers that the EU or its Member States breach these obligations (or an EU investor that Canada breaches these obligations), it can bring proceedings before an arbitral tribunal and the latter can award monetary damages to the investor.6

The Belgian State had expressed doubts over the compatibility of the I…

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