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Public consultation on the prevention and amicable resolution of disputes between investors and public authorities within the single market


From: Ministry for Finance
​(Economic Policy Department)
​Published on: ​17 August 2017
Running till: ​3 November 2017
​Last Updated: ​8 November 2017
1.        Background
The Commission’s consultation seeks to investigate EU rules in the context of preventing and resolving disputes amicably between investors and public authorities within the Single Market. Amicable resolution of investment disputes, such as through mediation, could help find consensual solutions to problems where they arise. This work is part of the 2015 Action Plan on building a Capital Markets Union, which the Commission indicated as a top priority to strengthen Europe’s economy and stimulate investment to create jobs.
The Commission wants to explore whether safeguards for intra-EU cross-border investors can be strengthened to reinforce the attractiveness of the single market as an investment destination through the development of a system for the resolution of disputes that is cost-effective and quick. Another policy option being considered is the setup of a network of national contact points to assist EU investors on legal matters related to investing within the single market with the possibility for these contact points to intervene on their behalf with national authorities to sort out complex issues where intervention is necessary.
The focus of this public consultation is to inform the Commission's impact assessment work on the need to develop amicable resolution and prevention methods for disputes between investors and public authorities. Some questions will contribute to the work on an Interpretative Communication on existing EU rules for the treatment of cross-border EU investments.
Within this context, following the launch of the exercise by the European Commission, the Ministry for Finance is undertaking a local public consultation on the matter in order to elicit responses from the local interested parties.
The Commission identified the following target groups:
Public authorities: national governments, public administrations and national judiciaries have a major influence on the prevention and resolution of investment disputes, for domestic as well as cross-border investments. Their (lack of) action may underpin the very existence of a dispute prior to or in the course of the life-cycle of the investment. The Member States' Expert Group on intra-EU investment environment will be closely involved in this process. Existing judicial networks (e.g. European Networks of Councils for the Judiciary) will also be consulted.
Practitioners: Although the consultation does not aim to single out any specific category of stakeholder, lawyers, arbitrators, and mediators with past or current experience in the amicable or alternative settlement of investment disputes may provide useful first-hand experience.
Industry/business/associations/SMEs: The views of operators potentially investing within the single market are important as they could have experience in dealing with investment disputes with public authorities and could benefit from a potential amicable resolution framework.
Civil society: NGOs active on investor protection and dispute-settlement issues in general, and on amicable resolution methods in particular, may have an interest in taking part in this consultation.
Citizens/General Public: The general public is the largest stakeholder group. Even if not directly affected by any potential framework, the nature of investment disputes potentially covered by the initiative may directly (e.g. rights of third parties to the dispute) or indirectly affect the general public.
Objective of the consultation:
The Commission is seeking the views of the stakeholders on:
1.       the need for a clear EU amicable dispute resolution framework for preventing and solving disputes between investors and public authorities;
2.       the main desirable characteristics and options for an amicable dispute prevention/resolution framework for disputes between investors and public authorities;
3.       the impacts of the possible options;
4.       areas where more awareness about rights of cross-border EU investors is needed.
2.        Consultation Questions
The questionnaire can be accessed from the following website (kindly scroll down to page 8 of the PDF document).
3.        Documents
To access the documents please click here:
4.        Submission of input
Submissions were sent in through the following channel:
We thank you for your input.
 Deadline of submissions: 3 November 2017
Data Protection Statement Data Protection Act (Chapter 440)
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In addition, please be aware of:
·         Disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (Chapter 496)
As we are a public authority all documents we hold, including documents related to this public consultation process, may be released following a request to us under the Freedom of Information Act (Chap. 496), unless such request may be subject of an exemption arising from the same Act.


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