CYIL vol. 12 (2021)

CYIL 12 (2021)

Investment Arbitration in Central and Eastern Europe…

Csongor István Nagy (ed.) Investment Arbitration in Central and Eastern Europe: Law and Practice

Cheltenham: Edward Elgar 2019, pp. 592, ISBN: 9781788115162 [Investiční arbitráž ve střední a východní Evropě: Právo a praxe]

According to the latest statistics of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), 26% of all investor-state investment arbitration cases registered under the ICSID have been raised against a state from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) 1 or Central Asia. 2 Still, most Central and Eastern European governments have, so far, supported the inclusion of ISDS and negotiated bilateral investment treaties. During the 1990s, CEE countries signed bilateral investment treaties en-masse expecting their beneficial impact in terms of development and economic growth facilitated by inflows foreign direct investment (FDI). However, today’s context in the region is very different from the time in the 1990s when the treaties were signed. In addition, many of them have become Member States of the European Union (EU) and transferred the competence over FDI to the EU under the virtue of the Lisbon Treaty. 3 In spite of this development the importance of the CEE region in the universe of investment protection has not been reflected enough. The volume under review, Investment Arbitration in Central and Eastern Europe: Law and Practice , sets an ambitious aim to change it by delivering a comprehensive analysis of the CEE region from the perspective of international investment law. This is indeed a very much welcomed attempt. The volume covers 15 countries in 14 national chapters and one introductory chapter written by the editor. This structure provides for an exceptionally comprehensive and rich resource. Each chapter has different authors from the relevant jurisdictions. In total, the book has thus 20 contributors. Such approach brings a unique insight although a selection of authors could benefit from more attention devoted to it. In addition, this high number of contributors comes with higher requirements for an editorial work to meet to safeguard a uniform structure of national chapters and their minimal level of scope and detail. Unfortunately, the quality of contributions significantly varies in terms of analysis of the broader investment policy context, the content of respective bilateral investment treaty programmes or a position towards current debates on the reform of ISDS. Some chapters, such as about Poland or Hungary, provide a complete as well as a detailed picture in all aspects. On the other hand, chapters on the Czech Republic or Estonia should have been subject to a more critical review. The latter is rather a factual list complemented by analysis of three investment disputes between Estonia and foreign investors. The chapter focused on the Czech Republic is disappointing for every reader who expects to learn why this country was 1 For the purposes of the volume, the CCE region consists of Bulgaria, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. While Kosovo could be a disputable case for many reasons, one may wonder why Belorussia and Ukraine are not included. 2 ICSID, The ICSID Caseload – Statistics , No. 2021-2, p. 12. 3 The level of development is further evidenced by the growing membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) among CEE states.


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