|Achmea Judgement||Slowakische Republik (Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018|
|Amicus Curiae Brief||European Commission’s Amicus Curiae Submission, 14 December 2018|
|CJEU (or in citations from sources ECJ)||Court of Justice of the European Union, and its previous designations|
|Claimants||Green Power Partners K/S and SCE Solar Don Benito APS|
|Claimants’ Additional Observations 2022||Claimants’ Additional Brief und (sic.) Jurisdiction following Procedural Order No. 9, 12 March 2022|
|Claimants’ Comments||Claimants’ Response to the European Commission’s Amicus Curiae Brief, 14 January 2019|
|Claimants’ Comments regarding Costs||Claimants’ Comments on the Respondent’s Statement of Costs, 22 April 2022|
|Claimants’ Comments regarding Respondent’s Answer||Claimants’ Comments regarding Respondent’s Answer, 21 October 2016|
|Claimants’ Post-Hearing Brief||Claimants’ Post-Hearing Submission, 1 March 2019|
|Claimants’ Rejoinder||Claimants’ Rejoinder Memorial on Jurisdictional Objections, 10 September 2018|
|Claimants’ Reply||Claimants’ Reply on Merits and Counter-Memorial on Jurisdictional Objections, 26 March 2018|
|Claimants’ Response to Amicus Curiae Brief||Claimants’ Response to the European Commission’s Application to Intervene as a Non-Disputing Party, 23 November 2018|
|Claimants’ Statement of Costs||Claimants’ Statement of Costs, 13 April 2022|
|Claimants’ Submission on Opinion 1/17||Claimant’s Additional Submission on ECJ’s Opinion 1/17, 24 May 2019|
|CNE||Spanish National Energy Commission|
|CPI||Consumer Price Index|
|CPI-CT||Consumer Price Index at constant taxes, excluding unprocessed food and energy products|
|Declaration I||Declaration of the EU Commission on behalf of the EU, 20 May 2015, made at the time of signing the International Energy Charter|
|Declaration II||Declaration of the Representatives of the Governments of Member States of 15 January 2019 on the legal consequences of the Judgment of the Court of Justice in Achmea and on investment protection in the European Union|
|Declaration III||Declaration of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, of 16 January 2019 on the enforcement of the judgment of the Court of Justice in Achmea and on investment protection on the European Union|
|ECT||Energy Charter Treaty, executed in Lisbon on 17 December 1994|
|EPC||Engineering, procurement and construction|
|European Commission’s Request||European Commission’s Application for leave to intervene as a Non-Disputing Party, 9 November 2018|
|Green Power||Green Power Partners K/S|
|Hearing (1)||Hearing in Stockholm on 7 and 8 February 2019|
|Hearing (2)||Hearing online of 22 March 2022|
|Hindelang Opinion||Legal Opinion of Prof. S. Hindelang, 13 March 2022|
|Idea||Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy|
|Komstroy Judgement||Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy LLC, successor in law to the company Energoalians, CJEU (Grand Chamber) Case C-741/19, Judgment, 2 September 2021|
|Law 54/1997||Law 54/1997 of 27 November 1997 on the Electricity Sector|
|MO IET/1045/2014||Ministerial Order IET/1045/2014|
|MO ETU/130/2017||Ministerial Order ETU/130/2017|
|PER 2005-2010||Spain’s Renewable Energies Plan|
|PL Holdings Judgment||Republiken Polen (Republic of Poland) v. PL Holdings Sarl, CJEU (Grand Chamber) Case C-109/20, Judgment, 26 October 2021|
|RAIPRE||Registry of Assignment of Remuneration|
|RD 413/2014||Royal Decree 413/2014|
|RD 436/2004||Royal Decree 436/2004|
|RD 661/2007||Royal Decree 661/2007|
|RD 1565/2010||Royal Decree 1565/2010|
|RD 1578/2008||Royal Decree 1578/2008|
|RD 2818/1998||Royal Decree 2818/1998|
|RD-Law 1/2012||Royal Decree Law 1/2012|
|RD-Law 2/2013||Royal Decree Law 2/2013|
|RD-Law 6/2009||Royal Decree-Law 6/2009|
|RD-Law 7/2006||Royal Decree Law 7/2006|
|RD-Law 9/2013||Royal Decree Law 9/2013|
|RD-Law 13/2012||Royal Decree Law 13/2012|
|RD-Law 14/2010||Royal Decree Law 14/2010|
|REIO||Regional Economic Integration Organisation|
|Report 2/2012||CNE’s report on the Spanish Energy Sector of 7 March 2012|
|Request for Arbitration||Claimants’ Request for Arbitration, 8 September 2016|
|Respondent||The Kingdom of Spain|
|Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022||Respondent’s additional comments on the intra-EU objection following Procedural Order No. 9, 13 March 2022|
|Respondent’s Answer||Respondent’s Answer to the Request for Arbitration, received by the SCC on 11 October 2016|
|Respondent’s Comments||Comments to the European Commission’s Amicus Curiae Brief and its intervention in the hearing, 15 January 2019|
|Respondent’s Counter-Memorial||Respondent’s Counter-Memorial on the Merits and Memorial on Jurisdiction, 4 October 2017|
|Respondent’s Observations||Respondent’s Observations on Claimants’ Comments regarding Costs, 29 April 2022|
|Respondent’s Post-Hearing Brief||Respondent’s Post-Hearing Brief, 1 March 2019|
|Respondent’s Rejoinder||Respondent’s Rejoinder Memorial on the Merits and Reply on Jurisdiction, 27 June 2018|
|Respondent’s Response on Amicus Curiae Brief||Respondent’s Observations on the European Commission’s Application for leave to intervene as a Non-Disputing Party, 23 November 2018|
|Respondent’s Statement of Costs||Respondent’s Statement of Costs, 13 April 2022|
|Respondent’s Submission on Opinion 1/17||Respondent’s Submission on Opinion 1/17 in relation with the dispute before the Tribunal, 24 May 2019|
|SAA||Swedish Arbitration Act|
|SCC||Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce|
|SCC Rules||SCC Arbitration Rules (2010)|
|SCE||SCE Solar Don Benito APS|
|Spain||The Kingdom of Spain|
|Statement of Claim||Claimants’ Statement of Claim, 12 May 2017|
|TAXUD||General Directorate of Taxation and Customs Union of the European Commission|
|TFEU||Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union|
|TMR||Reference tariff for electricity|
|Transcript Hearing (2)||Transcript of Hearing (2), jointly submitted by the Parties on 5 April 2022|
|TVPEE||Tax on the value of the production of electrical energy|
|VCLT||Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969|
SCE Solar Don Benito APS ('SCE’ or 'the Second Claimant’) is a Danish private limited company ('Anpartsselskab'), with business address at Silkeborgvej, 8000 Aarhus C/Denmark, registered under company registration number (CVR number) 30834062 and without Danish VAT registration.1
The First and Second Claimant are jointly referred to as 'the Claimants’.
The current dispute pertains to different investments in photovoltaic plants ('PV plants’) in the Spanish solar energy market. The relevant investments were made between 2008 and 2011, and allegedly intended to profit from the applicable regulatory framework providing, inter alia, a favourable tariff regime based on State subsidies. As a result of different factors, the Respondent adopted several measures between 2010 and 2014 which altered this regulatory framework. The Claimants argue that these alterations violated the Respondent’s obligations under the Energy Charter Treaty ('ECT’) and international law and impacted its investments in the Spanish energy market. The Claimants accordingly claim payment of compensation.
The Arbitration Tribunal ('the Tribunal’), appointed under Article 13 of the SCC Arbitration Rules ('SCC Rules’), consists of:
Prof. Dr. Hans van Houtte
Van Houtte Partners
A.Smetsplein 3 D, # 4.02
Dr. Inka Hanefeld
Hanefeld Rechtsanwälte Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft GmbH
Prof. Dr. Jorge E. Viñuales
Maison de la Paix, PT-715
Ch Eugene-Rigot 2, 1202.
PO Box 1672
CH-1211 Geneva 1
Pursuant to Article 20 of the SCC Rules, and in accordance with the letter dated 15 December 2016 of the Board of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the seat of arbitration is Stockholm, Sweden.
On 25 January 2017, the Arbitral Tribunal issued Procedural Order No. 1, confirming inter alia that the 2010 version of the SCC Rules was applicable and establishing the further procedural framework of the arbitration proceedings.
Present were for the Claimants: Heiko Büsing, PWC Legal
Moritz Pottek, PWC Legal
Loretta van Winkoop, PWC Legal
Lars Christian Gaarn-Larsen, Green Power
Pablo Galvan, Green Power
Present were for the Respondent: Roberto Fernandez Castillo, State Attorney
Maria José Ruiz-Sanchez, State Attorney
Ahnudena Pérez-Zurita Gutierrez, State Attorney
On 6 May 2019, the Claimants applied for a re-opening of the proceedings pursuant to Article 34 in fine SCC Rules. They asked to be entitled to add the Opinion 1/17 of the Court of Justice of the European Union ('CJEU’), published on 30 April 2019, and requested a hearing to discuss the relevance of Opinion 1/17 for the dispute before the Tribunal.
By letter of 4 December 2019, the Respondent requested leave to submit the award rendered in Stadtwerke München GmbH, RWE Innogy GmbH and Others v. the Kingdom of Spain, ICSID Case No. ARB/15/1, and the decision on jurisdiction, liability and directions on quantum rendered in BayWa R.E. Renewable Energy GmbH and BayWa R.E. Asset Holding GmbH v. the Kingdom of Spain, ICSID Case No. ARB/15/16 into the record. By e-mail of 9 December 2019, the Tribunal granted the request.
Present were for the Claimants: Oliver Bolthausen (DWF)
Lea Christ (DWF)
Andreas Panzer (DWF)
Michael Zierhut (DWF)
Present were for the Respondent: Rafael Gil Nievas (State attorney)
Javier Comerón (State attorney)
Lorena Fatás Pérez (State attorney)
Maria del Socorro Garrido Moreno (State attorney)
Elena Oñoro Sainz (State attorney)
Prof. Steffen Hindelang (Legal Expert)
On 24 March 2022, as per Procedural Order No. 10, the Claimants submitted a copy of their Powerpoint Presentation, presented in the Hearing (2), the decision of the Ad Hoc Committee in SolEs Badajoz GmbH v. Kingdom of Spain, ICSID ARB/15/38, of 16 March 2020 (as CL-349) and Council and Commission Decision 98/181/EG of 23 September 1997 on the conclusion, by the European Communities, of the Energy Charter Treaty and the Energy Charter Protocol on energy efficiency and related environmental aspects (as CL-350) into the record and provided an updated comprehensive list of all exhibits and legal authorities submitted by the Claimants. On the same day, as per Procedural Order No. 10, the Respondent submitted a copy of its Powerpoint Presentation, presented in the Hearing (2).
In accordance with Article 24 of the SCC Rules, the Claimants request the following relief3:
(a) A declaration that the dispute is within the jurisdiction and competence of the Arbitral Tribunal;
(b) A declaration that Spain has violated the ECT and international law with respect to Claimants' investments, and thus engages its international responsibility;
(c) An order directing Spain to pay monetary damages to Claimant Green Power in an amount of EUR 43,204,887.00, and to Claimant SCE in an amount of EUR 31,122,645.00;
(d) An order directing Spain to pay pre- and post-award interest, including compound interest, to Claimants at the applicable rate until the date of Spain's full and effective payment;
(e) An order directing Spain to pay the costs of tins arbitration proceeding, including the costs of the Arbitral Tribunal, the SCC Registration Fee, as well as the legal and other costs, inclusive of all attorney's fees incurred by Claimants, on a full indemnity basis, together with interest on such costs, in an amount to be determined by the Arbitral Tribunal with applicable law;
(f) Any other relief the Arbitral Tribunal may deem just and appropriate, in the circumstances.
In their Reply on the Merits and Counter-Memorial on Jurisdiction, the Claimants further requested the Tribunal:
(g) To dismiss Respondent’s motion lit (d) that Claimants shall pay 'ICSID administrative expenses ’;
(h) To dismiss Respondent’s motion/reservation under para. 1406 of the Counter Memorial to be allowed to 'supplement, modify or complement these allegations and present any and all additional arguments that may be necessary in accordance with the ICSID Convention, the ICSID Rules of Arbitration’.
The Claimants have reserved their rights pursuant to Article 25 of the SCC Rules to amend or supplement their claims; 'in particular Claimant Green Power reserved the right to amend the respective request made under Section IX lit (c) of the Statement of Claim, by claiming monetary damages of up to EUR 45.78 million’.4
(a) [...] [D]eclares its lack of jurisdiction to hear the claims of the Claimants, or where appropriate, the inadmissibility of the same, [...];
(b) Secondarily [Subsidiarily] in the event that the Arbitral Tribunal were to decide that it has jurisdiction to hear the present dispute, it should reject all the claims of the Claimants on the merits, since the Kingdom of Spain has not in any way breached the ECT, [...];
(c) Secondarily [Subsidiarily], dismiss all of the Claimants’ compensatory claims, as the Claimants have no right to compensation, [...]; and
(d) Order the Claimants to pay all costs and expenses derived from this arbitration, including SCC administrative expenses, arbitrators’ fees, and the fees of the legal representatives of the Kingdom of Spain, their experts and advisors, as well as any other cost or expense that has been incurred, all of this including a reasonable rate of interest from the date on which these costs are incurred and the date of their actual payment.
'The revisions to the regulated tariff and the upper and lower limits indicated in this paragraph shall not affect facilities for which the deed of commissioning shall have been granted prior to 1 January of the second year following the year in which the revision shall have been performed.’
Exh. C-70, GSI/IISD, Pablo del Río/Pere Mir-Artuigues, A Cautionary Tale: Spain’s Solar PV Investment Bubble, 2014, p. 10.
'During 2012, in view of the technological development of the sector and the market and the operation of the remuneration regime, there may be modifications to the remuneration of the activity of electric energy production through solar photovoltaic technology.,51
Apart from this provision, RD 1578/2008 does not provide for a revision of the regime as Article 44 (3) RD 661/2007 did.52
The difference between the legal regime under RD 661/2007 and 1578/2008 can be summarised as follows:
|Regime||RD 661/2007||RD 1578/2008|
|Date of application||Applies from 25 May 2007; applicable to existing PV plants subject to transitory provisions||Applies to installations registered after 28 September 2008|
|Limitation on capacity||Unlimited||Annual capacity quotas divided into quarterly calls|
|Duration of support||Whole lifetime of the PV plant; reduced feed-in tariff after 25 years||Feed-in tariff payments limited to 25 years|
|Tariff levels||Fixed feed-in tariff rates||Fixed feed-in tariff rates (reduced by approx. 30% compared to RD 661/2007)|
|Revisions of support levels||Every four years from 2010 and only for new PV plants (not applicable to commissioned PV plants)||Remuneration to solar PV plants can be changed during 2012 in view of the technological evolution of the sector and the market and the functioning of the remuneration scheme|
'The growing tariff deficit [...] is causing serious problems which, in the current international context of financial crisis, is deeply affecting the system and puts not only the financial situation of the electricity sector companies at risk, but also the sustainability of the system itself.'57
'Due to its increasing incidence on the tariff deficit, mechanisms are established in regard to the repayment system of installations of the special regime. [...] Thus, it has become necessary to adopt a measure of urgency to guarantee the necessary legal security for those who have made investments, and set the basis for the establishment of new economic regimes that enhance compliance with the intended objectives.'58
To summarise, Green Power acquired, either directly or indirectly through holding companies and acquisitions of operating companies, a 100 % interest in 15 PV facilities in Spain from July 2008 until December 2010. These PV plants all came into operation after Green Power, or its holding companies, had acquired the operating companies and related EPC agreements. The 15 PV plants are subject either to the regime of RD 661/2007 or RD 15778/2008. The timing, capacity and economic regime applicable to each of these PV Plants is as follows:73
Characteristics of the Green Power PV Plants62
|Plant Name||Acquisition and/or EPC Takeover Date||Start Up Date||Instated Nominal Capacity||Tracking Technology||Economic Regime|
|1. Vila Real PV||9/7/2010||11/25/2010||0.60||Fixed||RD 1578|
|2. La Val d'Uixó PV||2/11/2010||5/14/2010||0.50||Fixed||RD 1578|
|3. Tones de Segre PV||09/17/2009||12/28/2009||1.00||Fixed||RD 1578|
|4. Vilanova del CamíPV||2/11/2010||11/25/2010||1.50||Fixed||RD 1578|
|5. La Portella PV||10/29/2009||4/8/2010||1 00||Fixed||RD 1578|
|6. El Palau d'Aoglesola PV||7/16/2008||8/29/2008||0.69||2 axis||RD661|
|7. Belvís PV||7/16/2000||8/8/2000||0.54||2 axis||RD661|
|8. Linyola PV||7/16/2008||8/27/2008||0.56||2 axis||RD661|
|9. Almussafes PV||8/8/2010||5/17/2011||1.10||Fixed||RD1578|
|10. EI Masnou PV||5/9/2010||3/1/2011||0.44||Fixed||RD 1578|
|11. Griñon PV||2/17/2010||6/8/2010||0.55||Fixed||RD1578|
|12 Lorca PV||7/8/2010||11/2/2010||0.50||Fixed||RD 1578|
|13. bi PV||5/7/2010||9/21/2010||0.60||Fixed||RD 1578|
|14. Daganzo PV||9/28/2010||3/15/2011||1.98||Fixed||RD 1578|
|15. Meco PV||12/16/2010||8/2/2011||2.00||Fixed||RD 1578|
Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 271, referring to First Report by Econ One, table 1. Table 1 of the Report indicates that the five plants directly acquired by Green Power (Vila Real, La Vall d’Uxió, Torres de Segre, Vilanova del Cami and La Portella) are subject to the regime of RD 1578/2008. However, the Claimants’ maintain that these PV plants are subject to the economic regime of RD 661/2007, Statement of Claim, para. 197-202.
SCE has been established as a so-called Anpartsselskab which might be best characterized as a private limited company.74 On 24 July 2009, it acquired from Scan Energy Solar A/S the shares of what is now named SCE Solar Don Benito GmbH & Co. KG.75 The latter is a special purpose vehicle, which had acquired in 2008 100 % of the respective shares in the Spanish companies Planta Fotovoltaica Zujar I, S.L. and Planta Fotovoltaica Zujar II, S.L. Said Spanish companies have been the owners and operators of the solar park Don Benito in the Spanish province of Badajoz (Extremadura) since 2008. The diagram of SCE's investments is as follows:76
Request for Arbitration, paras. 3-6; Statement of Claim, paras. 12-16.
Statement of Claim, para. 174 et seqq., referring to Exh. C2-6, C2-7 and C2-8; Respondent’s Counter-Memorial, para. 639 et seqq.', Claimants’ Reply, para. 1173 et seqq., referring to Exh. C2-17 to C2-22; Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 1519.
Statement of Claim, para. 175.
'(1) Disputes between a Contracting Party and an Investor of another Contracting Party relating to an Investment of the latter in the Area of the former, which concern an alleged breach of an obligation of the former under Part III shall, if possible, be settled amicably.
(2) If such disputes cannot be settled according to the provisions of paragraph (1) within a period of three months from the date on which either party to the dispute requested amicable settlement, the Investor party to the dispute may choose to submit it for resolution:
(a) to the courts or administrative tribunals of the Contracting Party party to the dispute;
(b) in accordance with any applicable, previously agreed dispute settlement procedure; or
(c) in accordance with the following paragraphs of this Article.
(3) (a) Subject only to subparagraphs (b) and (c), each Contracting Party hereby gives its unconditional consent to the submission of a dispute to international arbitration or conciliation in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
(4) In the event that an Investor chooses to submit the dispute for resolution under subparagraph (2)(c), the Investor shall further provide its consent in writing for the dispute to be submitted to:
(a) (i) The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, established pursuant to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of other States opened for signature at Washington, 18 March 1965 (hereinafter referred to as the ICSID Convention"), if the Contracting Party of the Investor and the Contracting Party party to the dispute are both parties to the ICSID Convention; or
(c) an arbitral proceeding under the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.’
The Respondent has raised four objections to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and the admissibility of certain claims. These objections were raised in the Respondent’s Counter-Memorial on the Merits and Memorial on Jurisdiction, in conformity with Article 5(1)(i) of the SCC Rules, and they were further discussed in the light of subsequent developments in the Respondent’s Submission on Opinion 1/17 and in the Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022. The first two objections were initially presented as a single general objection. In its Rejoinder on the Merits and Reply on Jurisdiction, filed after the CJEU’s Achmea Judgment, the Respondent formulated the two main dimensions of the initial objection into two separate objections. The Tribunal considers that the second formulation, which relies primarily on Articles 267 and 344 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ('TFEU’), was already contained in the first, and that it better reflects the issues that the Tribunal has to address. It therefore deems these objections timely submitted. The four objections are as follows:
First, the Respondent submits that Article 26 ECT does not apply because the Claimants do not originate from the territory of another ECT Contracting Party, as both Denmark and the Kingdom of Spain are Member States of the EU. This is hence an objection for lack of jurisdiction ratione personae (infra Section C).
Secondly, the Respondent submits that Article 26 ECT does not apply due to the primacy of EU law, which makes its offer to arbitrate under Article 26 ECT inapplicable and prevents this dispute from being submitted to arbitration. This is hence an objection for lack of jurisdiction ratione voluntatis (infra Section D).
Thirdly, the Respondent submits that there is no consent to arbitrate as far as TVPEE is concerned. The Respondent relies on Article 21 ECT, which provides that the ECT does not generate obligations regarding taxation measures (infra Section E).
Fourthly, the Respondent alleges that the expropriation claim is inadmissible since the issue has not been referred to the competent national tax authorities as required by Article 21 (5)(b) ECT (also infra Section E).
The foregoing point is relevant in connection with the Tribunal’s consideration of the arguments submitted in the Amicus Curiae Brief of the European Commission. For the Claimants, the Tribunal should not take into account the Amicus Curiae Brief of the European Commission, which is not a party to the present dispute. The Claimants refer in this regard to their objection to the European Commission’s Request.95 The Respondent admits, referring to the award rendered in Wirtgen v. Czech Republic, that 'it is not open to a non-disputing party to raise a defence of lack of jurisdiction.’96 However, the Respondent correctly notes that the Tribunal should review its jurisdiction ex officio.
Claimants’ Response to Amicus Curiae Brief.
It is on this basis that the Tribunal will give due consideration to the Amicus Curiae Brief submitted by the European Commission in these proceedings. The Tribunal refers, in this regard, to the Decision on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law and Liability rendered by the tribunal in Electrabel v. Hungary, on which both Parties to the present proceedings have extensively relied. Facing a more extreme configuration of arguments, that tribunal came to the following conclusion:
'As far as jurisdiction is concerned, the Tribunal notes that the Respondent has not raised any like objection to jurisdiction as that made by the European Commission. It is however the Tribunal’s duty independently to check whether or not it has jurisdiction to decide the Parties’ dispute, particularly when such jurisdiction is contested by the European Commission based on the interpretation and application of EU law'97
Article 26(6) ECT requires the Tribunal to decide the 'issues in dispute in accordance with this Treaty and applicable rules and principles of international law’. According to the Respondent, the applicable law thus includes EU law, which is international law.98
The Respondent specifies that EU law as a whole (and thus not only the EU Treaties) must be regarded as part of public international law.99 Relying on the awards in Electrabel v. Hungary100 and Blusun v. Italy,101 on the decision in Vattenfall v. Germany on the 'Achmea issue’,102 and on the judgment of the CJEU Grand Chamber in the Achmea case103 (the 'Achmea Judgment’), which all recognise that EU law operates as international law,104 the Respondent emphasises that the entire EU legal order, which stems from treaties that are part of international law, is itself part of international law.105 The Respondent also refers, in this connection, to the case law of the CJEU, inter alia Budějovický Budvar, národní podnik v. Rudolf Ammersin GmbH106 as well as to the judgment of the German Bundesgerichtshof of 31 October 2018,107 which annulled the arbitral award in Achmea v. Slovakia.108
Respondent’s Response on Amicus Curiae Brief, para. 3; Hindelang, Transcript Hearing (2), p. 86,89.
Slowakische Republik (Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018, Exh. CL-151; CL-215; RL-105; RL-160.
Hearing (1) Respondent Slides 5-8.
Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 90-94; Hearing (1), Day 2, 17’-19’. The Tribunal hereby clarifies that reference to the arguments submitted on Day 2 of the Hearing (1), is made on the basis of the minutes of the audio-registration as it was agreed between the Parties and the Tribunal that no official typed transcript would be prepared.
Respondent’s Response on Amicus Curiae Brief, para. 7, referring to Judgment in Budějovický) Budvar, C-478/07, paraf. 97-99; see also the earlier judgments in Conegate, C-121/85, ECLI:EU:C:1986:114, para. 25; Matteucci v. Communauté française de Belgique, C-235/87, ECLI:EU:C:1988:460, para. 22; and Exportur C-3/91, ECLI:EU:C: 1992:420, para. 8, referred to in Annex EC-17.
Bundesgerichtshof, Judgment of 31 October 2018, Annex EC-9; Respondent’s Response on Amicus Curiae Brief, para. 8.
The Respondent submits that under Article 26(6) ECT, international law not only applies to the merits of the dispute but also to jurisdictional matters.109 In its Additional Comments 2022, the Respondent further emphasises, by reference of the judgment of the CJEU Grand Chamber in the Komstroy case110 (the 'Komstroy Judgment’), that EU law must be necessarily applied to the determination of jurisdiction in the present proceedings because the ECT itself, as an international agreement ratified by an EU act, is part of the EU law.
Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 87; Hearing (1) Respondent, Slide 9; Hindelang, Transcript Hearing (2), p. 94.
The Respondent further observes118 that it is on this basis that Swedish courts are required to apply the rulings of the CJEU and will on that basis annul decisions by arbitral tribunals asserting jurisdiction in contradiction with such rulings. This argument is made by reference to the referral by the Swedish Supreme Court to the CJEU under Article 267 TFEU in the case Poland v. PL Holdings, leading to a CJEU Judgment in this case119 (the 'PL Holdings Judgment’), and the withdrawal by the Svea Court of Appeals of another Article 267 TFEU referral, in the case Italy v. Athena120, upon reception of the CJEU’s Komstroy Judgment and PL Holdings Judgment.121 The Respondent sees these developments as an indication of the accuracy of its arguments.122
Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022, paras. 6-7.
Svea Court of Appeals, Italy v. Athena et al, Case T 3229-19, Transcript of 12 November 2021, Exh. RL-167.
Charlotin, Damien, Svea Court of Appeal rescinds Request for a Preliminary Ruling from the European Court of Justice in Light of the European Court’s Komstroy and PL Holdings Decisions, IAReporter, 30 November 2021, Exh. RL-165.
Respondent’s Post-Hearing Brief, paras. 74-77; Respondent’s Additional Comments of 2022, para. 7.
Contrary to the Respondent’s position,128 the Claimants observe that Article 26(6) ECT, which sets out the law applicable to 'the issues in dispute’,129 only refers to the law applicable to the 'merits ’. The Tribunal’s jurisdiction is, instead, determined by the general principles of international law as well as by the law that has been agreed upon by the Parties, namely the ECT.130
See Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 87.
To be determined '... in accordance with this Treaty and applicable rules and principles of international law': Art. 26(6) ECT.
The Claimants argue that this view is supported by Article 22 SCC Rules, which likewise only applies to the merits of the dispute.131 Thus, they contend that neither Article 22 SCC Rules nor Article 26(6) ECT are relevant to the question of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, a position likewise supported by the Vattenfall arbitral decision.132
Claimants’ Reply, paras. 76-79.
The Claimants ascertain that even if Article 26(6) ECT referred to the law applicable to jurisdiction, rules of international law in terms of Article 26(6) ECT would not include EU law. In this regard, the Claimants rely on para. 133-134 of Opinion 1/17 in which the CJEU concluded with regard to a similarly worded provision in the CETA that "the CETA Appellate Tribunal [will not] be called upon to interpret or apply the rules of EU law other than the provisions of the CETA."133 Further, the Claimants contend that EU law cannot be qualified as public international law. While the basis for public international law is consensus of the participating states, the basis of EU law is the sovereign command or the institutionally guaranteed regulation of a superior coercive organisation.134
The Claimants acknowledge that the arbitral tribunal in Vattenfall v. Germany admitted that in arbitrations subject to the SCC Rules - instead of to the ICSID Convention, as in Vattenfall 'the arbitral jurisdiction may be circumscribed by the local arbitration law of the place of arbitration'.135 However, the Claimants argue that in the present case the Parties did not choose Stockholm as the seat of arbitration but that it was the SCC Board which selected that seat after the Respondent’s arbitration offer became an arbitration agreement by the submission of the Claimants’ Request for Arbitration. In their view, since the seat in Sweden is fortuitous, the arbitration agreement should only be affected by international law, from which it emanated.
The Claimants admit that the lex arbitri provides the basis to challenge an award before Swedish courts.144 However, they do not see in some earlier developments invoked by the Respondent, such as the stay by the Svea Court of Appeals, on 16 May 2018, of the enforcement of the award rendered in Novenergia Il-Energy & Environment, SICAR vs. Kingdom of Spain, any confirmation of the accuracy of the Respondent’s arguments.145
The starting point of the analysis, as was mentioned in Procedural Order No. 1, paragraph 3, is Article 26 ECT. Specifically, Article 26(6) ECT contains a 'choice of law’ clause according to which 'A tribunal established under paragraph (4) shall decide the issues in dispute in accordance with this Treaty and applicable rules and principles of international law’. However, the Parties disagree on the interpretation of this provision and, specifically, as to whether this provision attracts the application of EU law into these proceedings for jurisdictional matters. For the Respondent, the ordinary meaning of the terms 'applicable rules and principles of international law’ plainly encompasses EU law as a whole, including for jurisdictional matters. Moreover, the ECT itself, including Article 26 ECT, would in all events have to be considered as EU law, as noted in the Komstroy Judgment. The Claimants argue instead that EU law, due to its specificities, would not be covered by this clause or only to a limited extent with respect to the merits of the dispute.
The Tribunal considers that, although constituting a 'choice of law’ clause in the ECT, Article 26(6) ECT does not provide a conclusive answer regarding the law applicable to jurisdiction. The ordinary meaning of the terms 'issues in dispute in accordance with this Treaty and applicable rules and principles of international law’ would admit several interpretations, including those advanced by the Parties.
However, a contextual interpretation of this provision relying on Article 26(1) ECT to ascertain the meaning of 'issues in dispute' clarifies the scope of Article 26(6) ECT significantly. Indeed, Article 26(1) ECT refers to disputes 'which concern an alleged breach of an obligation [...] under Part IIP of the ECT. This leads to the conclusion that Article 26(6) ECT only contains a choice of law rule for the merits of the dispute, and not for the jurisdictional assessment. The Tribunal notes that the arbitral tribunal in Vattenfall v. Germany reached the same conclusion,147 and so did the tribunal in Sevilla Beheer v. Spain,148 on which the Claimants rely to challenge the relevance of the Komstroy Judgment.149
Claimants’ Additional Observations 2022, p. 18.
For present purposes, this conclusion means that the Parties have not agreed on the law applicable to jurisdictional matters under Article 26(6) ECT. The agreement of the Parties on the arbitration rules applicable to the present proceedings, i.e., the SCC Rules, does not assist in the resolution of this question, either. Indeed, as rightly noted by the Claimants, Article 22 SCC Rules concerns the law applicable to the merits of the dispute, as it has been noted by the Tribunal in Procedural Order No. 1, paragraph 4.
Slowakische Republik (Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018, para. 41, Exh. CL-151; CL-215; RL-105; RL-160.
Furthermore, it is the peculiarity of investment treaty arbitration to oppose private persons (whether physical or legal) and States, a feature which requires the determination, at the jurisdictional stage and beyond, of a range of legal questions that cannot be fully subsumed under domestic law alone. Swedish arbitration law can only to some extent deal with the matters relevant for the determination of jurisdiction in the present case. Some other matters must necessarily be analysed under international law, including - potentially - the interpretation under the law of treaties of certain provisions, such as Articles 21, 25 and 26 ECT, which have been raised in the Respondent’s jurisdictional and admissibility objections.
In conclusion, the Tribunal considers that both under international law, in the exercise of its compétence de la compétence, and under the applicable lex arbitri, it is required to take as a starting point Article 26 ECT and then consider and, if necessary, apply other rules of both international law and domestic law, as relevant for each question.
The Respondent’s first argument is that the wording of Article 26(1) ECT excludes any case where an investor of one EU Member State has a dispute with another EU Member State in relation to its investment in that State because, pursuant to Article 26 ECT, a dispute must be between a 'Contracting Party' and an 'investor of another Contracting Party’.169
The Respondent also contends in its Rejoinder on the Merits that the Claimants’ double Danish and European nationality excludes this dispute from the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. In particular, the Respondent argues that Article 26(1) ECT requires a diversity of nationalities in arbitration procedures.171 The Respondent makes this argument by analogy with the diversity requirement in Article 25(2) ICSID Convention.172 Because both Spain and Denmark are EU Member States, the Denmark-based Claimants hold both Danish and European nationality under Article 20 TFEU.173 Therefore, Claimants cannot be considered foreign investors in Spain as there is no diversity of nationality, Denmark and Spain sharing the European nationality.
The Respondent has also included references to Art. 25.2 ICSID Convention, likely only for guidance purposes as this is not an ICSID proceeding, Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 78.
Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 78.
Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 75 et seqq.; Article 20 TFEU, Exh.RL-1: 'Citizenship of the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall be additional to and not replace national citizenship’.
In support of their interpretation of Article 26(1) ECT, the Claimants rely on Article 31(1) of the VCLT, which provides that: 'A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose'.175
Claimants’ Reply, para. 58, Exh. RL-10.
According to the Claimants, relying, amongst others, on Kruck v. Spain, the 'ordinary meaning’ of the terms 'an Investor of another Contracting Party’ in Article 26(1) ECT does not, within an intra-EU context, exclude investors from EU Member States. Rather, if one considers the definition of 'Contracting Party’ in Article 1(2) ECT,176 each EU Member State in relation to another EU Member State is 'another Contracting Party It follows that investors from one EU Member State investing in another EU Member State are 'Investors of another Contracting Party ’ under Article 26(1) ECT.177
"Contracting Party’ means a state or Regional Economic Integration Organisation which has consented to be bound by this Treaty and for which the Treaty is in force’, Exh. CL-1.
Claimants’ Reply, paras. 59, 60, Exh. CL-1; Claimants’ Additional Observations 2022, pp.10 and 11; Matthias Kruck et al. v. Kingdom of Spain, ICSID case No. ARB/15/23, Decision on Jurisdiction and Admissibility, 19 April 2021, para. 288; Exh. CL-314.
The Claimants also rely on the definition of 'Area’ in Article 1(10) ECT to support their position. They say that the definition of 'Area’ must be read in the context of Article 26(1) and, relying on the arbitral decision in Charanne v. Spain, they argue that the territory of the EU does not replace the territories of the Member States. The Claimants further note that this interpretation was confirmed in Isolux v. Spain, where the Respondent raised the same argument.179
Claimants’ Reply, para. 70; Charanne BV and Construction Investment S.A.R.L. v. Spain, SCC Arb. No. 062/2012, Award, 21 January 2016, para. 429, Exh. RL-49.
For the European Commission, Article 26 ECT does not apply to intra-EU investment disputes. It notes that the ECT, as well as its predecessor, the European Energy Charter, were from the outset EU projects whereby the EU and the Member States acted as a single contracting party. Consequently, for the European Commission, it was clear from the very beginning that the ECT was not designed to apply amongst EU Member States for matters where competence was transferred to the EU.182
The Tribunal does not agree with the Respondent’s contention that the investment dispute between the Danish Claimants and the Kingdom of Spain is not a dispute between 'a Contracting Party’ and 'an investor of another Contracting Party’, as required by Article 26(1) ECT.
Under Article 31(1) VCLT, the terms 'Contracting Party’ and 'investor of another Contracting Party’ in Article 26(1) ECT have to be interpreted 'in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms’. In this light, there is nothing in Article 26(1) ECT that prevents Denmark and Spain as EU Member States from constituting a ' Contracting Party’ under the ECT in respect of each other. In this regard, the Tribunal takes notes of the similarly-minded decision of the arbitral tribunal in Kruck v. Spain which stated: "But nothing in the wording of ECT Article 26 points to the conclusion that because the EU is itself a Contracting Party, [Member States] cease to be distinct Contracting Parties vis-à-vis another."184
The coincidence that, under Article 20 TFEU, the Danish investors have, besides the Danish nationality, also an EU nationality, which they happen to share with Spanish nationals, does not erase their Danish nationality.
Nor is it relevant that, to define the territorial application of the ECT in the EU, under Article 1(10) ECT, the EU has an 'Area’ which encompasses the territories of the EU Member States. Indeed, this does not mean that each EU Member State, for the purpose of the ECT, has ceased to have its own territory. The Tribunal agrees with the conclusions of the arbitral tribunals in Charanne v. Spain and Isolux v. Spain, according to which the territory of the EU does not replace the territory of the EU Member States.185
Respondent’s additional comments 2022, para. 17; Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy LLC, successor in law to the company Energoalians, CJEU (Grand Chamber) Case C-741/19, Judgment, 2 September 2021, para. 23-27, Exh. CL-316; RL-164.
The Respondent also refers to the Achmea Judgment,196 which it considers very clear on the matter and which excludes any further detailed consideration of the Advocate General’s contrary opinion. Indeed, for the Respondent, the Achmea Judgment implies that, when Member States submit disputes to arbitral tribunals, which are not part of the EU court system and cannot request preliminary rulings from the CJEU on the interpretation of the EU Treaties, the autonomy of EU law would be undermined. The CJEU has maintained and further clarified this position with respect to arbitral tribunals hearing disputes arising from the ECT in the Komstroy Judgment197 and with respect to domestic laws admitting ad hoc arbitration agreements between an EU Member State and an investor of another EU Member State in the PL Holdings Judgment.198 Both subsequent decisions confirm the underlying reasoning of the Achmea Judgment for the issues and contexts they discuss.199
Slowakische Republik (Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018, Exh. CL-151; CL-215; RL-105; RL-160.
Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy LLC, successor in law to the company Energoalians, CJEU (Grand Chamber) Case C-741/19, Judgment, 2 September 2021, para. 64, Exh. CL-316; RL-164; Republiken Polen (Republic of Poland) v. PL Holdings Sarl, CJEU (Grand Chamber) Case C-109/20, Judgment, 26 October 2021, para. 65, Exh. RL-168.
The starting point of the Achmea Judgment,200 according to the Respondent, is that the autonomy of the Union has to be ensured by the EU judicial system, with at its core the possibility to refer questions for a preliminary ruling to the CJEU under Article 267 TFEU.201 The Tribunal, the creation of which rests on Article 26 ECT, is not part of the EU judicial system and has no possibility to refer questions for preliminary rulings to the CJEU under Article 267 TFEU.
Slowakische Republik(Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018, paras. 35-37, Exh. CL-151; CL-215; RL-105; RL-160.
The Respondent concedes that the Achmea Judgment, in paragraphs 57-58, states that an international agreement which has established a court responsible for the interpretation of its provisions and whose decisions are binding on the institutions, is not in principle incompatible with EU law when the autonomy of the EU legal order is not jeopardized.202 Such a possibility has been confirmed by the CJEU in its Opinion 1/17203 and in the Komstroy Judgment.204 However, such international agreements would only be compatible with EU law 'provided that the autonomy of the EU and its legal order is respected'. International agreements providing for their own specific dispute settlement mechanisms, which do not respect the autonomy of the EU and its legal order, are incompatible with EU law.
Respondent’s Comments, para. 27.
Opinion 1/17 of the Court (EU-Canada CET Agreement), 30 April 2019, EU:C:2019:341, para. 106, Exh. CL-315; RL-161.
Article 344 TFEU applies regardless of whether the Member State’s counterparty is another Member State or a private investor from such Member State.207 Unlike a provision such as Article 273 TFEU which expressly states that it applies 'between Member States’, the wording of Article 344 TFEU does not contain this limitation, and it therefore concerns also investment disputes between an EU Member State and an investor of another EU Member State.208 This has been confirmed by the CJEU in the Achmea Judgment and in the Komstroy Judgment to which Respondent refers.209 Article 344 TFEU prevents Spain from referring any dispute with an investor concerning the application or interpretation of EU law, including one relating to the Internal Electricity Market, to international arbitration210 because this method of dispute settlement would not guarantee the autonomy of EU law, as required under Article 344 TFEU.211
Respondent’s Comments, paras. 21-22.
Respondent’s Comments, paras. 21-22.
Respondent’s Comments, paras. 21-22; Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022, paras. 41 and 47; Hindelang Opinion, paras.39, 50.
Respondent’s Counter-Memorial, para. 82.
Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 142.
The Respondent affirms that the impact of the Achmea Judgment, which concerned an intra-EU case relating to the Bilateral Investment Treaty ('BIT’) between The Netherlands and the Slovak Republic ('Netherlands-Slovakia BIT’), cannot be limited to BITs but also applies to multilateral investment treaties such as the ECT.212 Indeed, it is the circumvention of the judicial system established by the EU Treaties by a whole category of disputes, whether on the basis of a BIT or of a multilateral investment treaty, that violates fundamental EU law principles and undermines the autonomy of the EU.213
Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 140; Slowakische Republik (Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018, para. 60, Exh. CL-151; CL-215; RL-105; RL-160. For the Respondent, the English version of Achmea stated 'such as Article 8 of the BIT (emphasis added), which shows even more clearly that the CJEU did not intend to limit the reach of Achmea to only encompass the relevant BIT.
Respondent’s Comments, para. 23.
The Respondent observes that any doubt regarding the relevance of the Achmea Judgment for arbitration proceedings based on Article 26 of the ECT has now been removed by the Komstroy Judgment, where the CJEU Grand Chamber reproduced the holdings made in Achmea and expressly noted that 'it must be concluded that Article 26, paragraph 2, letter c), of the TEC [i.e. the ECT] must be interpreted in the sense that it is not applicable to the disputes between a Member State and an investor from another Member State in relation to an investment made by the latter in the first Member State’216
Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022, paras. 27-28, quoting Slowakische Republik (Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018, para. 66, Exh. CL-151; CL-215; RL-105; RL-160.
Referring to the decision of the arbitral tribunal in Vattenfall v. Germany, the Respondent points out that the CJEU’s interpretation of Articles 267 and 344 TFEU in the Achmea Judgment is part of EU law, and therefore it is binding on all instances where these provisions have to be interpreted and applied.219 The Respondent submits that the arbitration clause of the ECT excludes from the jurisdiction of the EU judicial system the dispute between an investor of an EU Member State and an EU Member State, and that it is therefore inconsistent with the autonomy of EU law.
As noted earlier in connection with the law applicable to jurisdiction, the Respondent argues that EU law as a whole (and thus not only the EU Treaties) must be regarded as part of public international law.224 Referring to the Achmea Judgment225 and to the decision in Electrabel v. Hungary226 the Respondent emphasises that the entire EU legal order, which stems from treaties that are part of international law, is itself part of international law.227 The Respondent refers, in this connection, also to the case law of the CJEU, including Budějovický Budvar, národní podnik v. Rudolf Ammersin GmbH228, as well as to the judgment of the German Bundesgerichtshof of 31 October 2018.229
Respondent’s Comments, para. 3.
Slowakische Republik (Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018, para. 1, Exh. CL-151; CL-215; RL-105; RL-160.
Electrabel S.A. v. Republic of Hungary, ICSID case No. ARB/07/19, Decision on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law and Liability, 30 November 2012, Exh. RL-2; CL-141
Hearing (1), Day 2, 17’-19’.
Budějovický Budvar, národní podnik v. Rudolf Ammersin GmbH, Case C-478/07, Judgment of 8 September 2009, Exh. 14 Hindelang Opinion.
Respondent’s Comments, para 7-8; German Bundesgerichtshof, 31 October 2018, Exh. 36 Hindelang Opinion; EC-9.
Referring to the Achmea Judgment, as subsequently confirmed by the Komstroy Judgment, the Respondent contends that it could not be deemed to have offered arbitration as a means to settle the present dispute under Article 26 ECT because: (i) the dispute before the Tribunal requires the interpretation and application of EU law, including the ECT itself, matters of foreign direct investment and State aid, which are under the Union’s exclusive competence, as well as, ultimately, the fundamental freedoms of the EU241; (ii) the present arbitration proceedings could not respect the autonomy of EU law to the extent that the ECT would not be capable of 'guaranteeing the full application of EU legislation in all Member States and guaranteeing the judicial protection of people’s rights pursuant to the Law’242; and (iii) the Tribunal’s award would not be subject to a sufficient degree of review by a court of a Member State.243
Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 146 ; Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022, para. 49.
Slowakische Republik (Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018, para. 43, Exh. CL-151; CL-215; RL-105; RL-160., quoted in Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 146.
Respondent’s Rejoinder, paras. 145-151.
In all events, and in subsidiary order, the Respondent argues that, even if it were considered that Spain may have consented to intra-EU arbitration of investment disputes in Article 26 of the ECT, such consent would not be valid, as authoritatively stated by the CJEU in its Achmea Judgment,249 and subsequently confirmed in the Komstroy Judgment.250
Respondent’s Rejoinder, paras. 10, 74, with reference to Slowakische Republik (Slovak Republic) v. Achmea BV, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case C-284/16, Judgment, 6 March 2018, Exh. CL-151; CL-215; RL-105; RL-160; Respondent’s additional comments 2022, para. 47.
Respondent’s additional comments 2022, paras. 47-49, with reference to Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy LLC, successor in law to the company Energoalians, CJEU (Grand Chamber), Case-C-741/19, Judgment, 2 September 2021, paras. 62-63, Exh. CL-316; RL-164.
For the Respondent, also under international law, the EU Treaties prevail over the ECT by virtue of Articles 30 and 59 VCLT.253 The Lisbon Treaty, which excludes ECT arbitration for intra-EU investment disputes in its Article 344 TFEU, was concluded in 2007, while the ECT was concluded in 1994. Under Articles 30 and 59 VCLT, Article 344 TFEU would thus prevail over a prior provision, i.e. Article 26 ECT. Consequently, also from this perspective, Article 26 ECT is no longer applicable for intra-EU investment disputes covered by Article 344 TFEU.254
Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 178; Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022, para. 117.
Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022, para. 122.
The Respondent furthermore refers to the Member States’ 'Declaration of 15 January 2019 on the legal consequences of the Judgment of the Court of Justice in Achmea and on the investment protection in the European Union’, which confirmed that Article 26 ECT was not applicable between EU Member States.262 For the Respondent, this Declaration is not only a political statement, but also, under Article 31 VCLT, an important expression of the EU Member States which signed the Declaration on their understanding of Article 26 ECT.263
The Respondent further notes that, any doubt pertaining to the application of the CJEU’s conclusions in the Achmea Judgment to Article 26 ECT has been put to rest by the CJEU’s reasoning in the Komstroy Judgment, where the Grand Chamber expressly stated that 'it must be concluded that Article 26, paragraph 2, letter c), of the TEC [i.e. the ECT] must be interpreted in the sense that it is not applicable to the disputes between a Member State and an investor from another Member State in relation to an investment made by the latter in the first Member State’ .265
Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022, paras. 27-28, quoting Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy LLC, successor in law to the company Energoalians, CJEU (Grand Chamber) Case C-741/19, Judgment, 2 September 2021, para. 66, Exh. CL-316; RL-164.
Relying on the reasoning of the tribunal in Electrabel v. Hungary, the Respondent observes that the ECT should be interpreted, as far as possible, in harmony with EU law. For the Respondent, several provisions within the ECT, if properly analysed, indicate that the ECT can operate in harmony with EU law as it does not apply to intra-EU investments.266
The Respondent considers that the primacy of the EU legal system is recognised inter alia in the text of Article 1(3) ECT, which admits Regional Economic Integration Organisations ('REIO’) as Contracting Parties and expressly recognises the decisions taken by a REIO as 'binding on [its Member-States] in respect to those matters’. The EU is the only REIO that is party to the ECT.267 Consequently, according to the Respondent, for matters over which competence has been transferred to the EU, the Member States are inter se bound by EU law and no longer by the ECT.268
Respondent’s Counter-Memorial, paras. 73-80.
Respondent’s Counter-Memorial, paras. 74-76.
Moreover, for the Respondent, Article 25 ECT, which provides that the ECT’s most-favoured-nation obligation does not extend any preferential treatment given to Member States of an Economic Integration Area ('EIA’) (such as the EU) to countries which are not part of that area, also suggests that the ECT recognises the preferential nature of the EU protection system, which is thus not extended beyond intra-EU relations.269
The Respondent furthermore notes that the principle according to which the EU stands in the shoes of its Member States in areas where it has competence, is also reflected by Article 36(7) ECT, which accords a REIO, hence the EU, a number of votes equivalent to the number of its Member States for matters over which the REIO has competence.270 The Respondent finally observes that its interpretation of the ECT is confirmed by the ECT’s purpose.271
Respondent’s Counter-Memorial, para. 79; Respondent’s Rejoinder, para. 172.
Respondent’s Counter-Memorial, paras. 91-94.
The Respondent’s primary contention under this heading remains that the objectives of the EU Treaties, i.e. a common market based on the principle of non-discrimination and price formation in accordance with the rules of the market, were not similar to those of the ECT, but in fact exceeded them. However, even if the ECT could be said to cover the same subject-matter as the EU Treaties, the regime introduced by the EU Treaties would still prevail over the ECT under Article 16 ECT, because the ECT grants less favourable substantive rights to the investor than EU law does. Nor is arbitration, provided for in Article 26 ECT as one of several possibilities, a more favourable dispute resolution mechanism, because under the ECT no discrimination or illegal State aid in the investment process is sanctioned.272
As noted earlier in the discussion of the law applicable to jurisdiction, the Respondent submits that under Article 26(6) ECT, international law not only applies to the merits of the dispute but also determines whether the Tribunal can assume jurisdiction over a dispute.273 According to the Respondent, the international law that the Tribunal is required to apply under Article 26(6) ECT comprises EU law, which is contained in or follows from an international treaty such as the TFEU.274 The Respondent extensively relies on the award in Electrabel v. Hungary275, the award in Blusun v. Italy276 and the decision of the arbitral tribunal in Vattenfall v. Germany,277 which all recognised that EU law operates as international law.278 Within the body of international law applicable to the dispute, the Tribunal therefore has to apply EU law - including the EU rules governing the Internal Electricity Market - as part of its implementation of the EU fundamental freedoms. Moreover, following the Komstroy Judgment, the Respondent also notes that EU law would apply to the present dispute because the ECT itself is part of EU law as well as because foreign direct investment and State aid law are exclusive competences of the EU.279
Hearing (1), Day 1, Respondent Slide 9.
Respondent’s Rejoinder, paras. 90-94.
Hearing Day 1, Respondent Slides 5-8.
Respondent’s Additional Comments 2022, para. 48, referring to Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy LLC, successor in law to the company Energoalians, CJEU (Grand Chamber) Case C-741/19, Judgment, 2 September 2021, paras. 62-63, Exh. CL-316; RL-164.