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Dispute settlement | Brussels, 29 January 2021

The EU and Canada adopt rules putting in place the CETA investment court

Today, the EU and Canada adopted four decisions putting in place the Investment Court System provisions agreed in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The decisions – and all investment protection provisions in the agreement – will apply only once the elected lawmakers of all the 27 EU Member States will have approved CETA.

The fundamentals of the Investment Court System are already established under CETA. However, for the system to work, the two sides needed to agree on additional detailed rules, procedures and structures, which they did today. For the Investment Court System rules under CETA to enter into force, full ratification of CETA by all Member States is required. Nevertheless, at the time of the signature of CETA, the EU, its Member States and Canada already agreed to put in place all of its necessary elements before the entry into force of the agreement.

On 11 October 2019, the Commission presented the proposals for the decisions to the Council and EU Member States in the Council unanimously approved the adoption of the decisions on 18 May 2020. The Commission has also kept the European Parliament fully informed about these decisions.

The four decisions adopted today

The four decisions adopted today by the EU and Canada concern:

  1. Rules setting out the functioning of the Appellate Tribunal: these rules will ensure an effective appeal function, the first such appeal function to become operational in international investment agreements;
  2. A code of conduct for the judges of the Investment Court System: this will further bolster the assurances of the highest ethics standards already contained in the agreement;
  3. Rules for mediation: mediation is an area which traditional investment agreements have largely overlooked and;
  4. Rules for binding interpretations to be adopted by the CETA Joint Committee: these rules will facilitate the EU and Canada to maintain control of the interpretation of the agreement.

The decisions have been adopted in all 23 authentic languages of CETA.

More information

CETA ratification status
CETA – Meetings and documents
Multilateral Investment Court project
UNCITRAL Working Group III
The EU’s concept paper (in all UN languages)