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Dispute settlement

The European Union (EU) uses various tools to enforce the commitments negotiated by the EU to benefit companies, workers and citizens under international trade agreements. One of these tools is dispute settlement under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or EU bilateral trade agreements.

Moreover, since 2009, the EU has been negotiating investment treaties that protect EU investors when they operate in third countries. These enable investors to resolve their investment disputes with States (e.g. on expropriation) before independent courts and tribunals.   

Dispute settlement in a nutshell

  • It is an objective and effective means of settling disagreements between States or between investors and States on government measures/practices
  • It prevents escalation of diplomatic tensions, unilateral actions and contributes overall to peaceful international relations
  • It clarifies the obligations of States under international law and develops a common understanding through the case-law

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