Slovakia won the arbitration case brought by Achmea
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that arbitration clauses included in international investment protection treaties to which EU countries are a party are void as they violate EU norms. Andrej Leontiev, a partner in the Taylor Wessing law firm, says the ruling means that the Germany’s Supreme Court will now have to cancel the court of arbitration ruling from 2012 that obliged Slovakia to pay out €22m in compensation to Dutch insurer Achmea. The court of arbitration had no jurisdiction to rule in that case, which related to a ban on health insurers’ profits imposed by the first Robert Fico government in 2007. The ECJ ruling weakens the position of foreign investors, who will now have to rely on local courts to protect their interests.
Slovakia also won the arbitration case brought by the Dutch owner of Dôvera health insurer, as a court of arbitration ruled that Dôvera’s foreign ownership is just formal, as the local Penta investment group is the final beneficiary.