Bratislava, March 6 (TASR) – Slovakia probably won’t have to pay more than €22 million to Dutch company Achmea B.V., the shareholder of Union ZP health insurer, as the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled in favour of Slovakia in their long-standing litigation, the Finance Ministry stated on Tuesday.
The millions mentioned represent compensation that Achmea demanded from Slovakia as a result of the so-called ban on health insurance company profits during the first government of Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD). Following the European Court of Justice’s verdict, an arbitration ruling in proceedings in the German Supreme Court should be annulled.
“The Slovak Republic should thus be completely liberated, which would mean that it won’t have to pay Achmea more than €22 million,” said the head of the press department at the Finance Ministry Alexandra Gogova.
According to the Finance Ministry, this is an unprecedented decision with an impact on all bilateral investment protection treaties between EU-member states. “I believe that this decision means a definitive end to this litigation with Achmea. I’m glad that the courts have agreed with us and accepted our arguments,” said Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (Smer-SD).
According to the Finance Ministry, the EU Court of Justice stated that “the arbitration clause contained in an agreement between the Netherlands and Slovakia on investment protection is incompatible with EU law”.
According to Gogova, the court confirmed by its decision that the international arbitration tribunal didn’t have the power to decide on the dispute between Slovakia and Achmea. “For this reason, according to the Finance Ministry, the arbitration ruling should be annulled,” said the head of the press department.