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News article23 June 2022BrusselsDirectorate-General for Trade1 min read

Stepping up trade agreements enforcement: the European Commission publishes pool of individuals eligible for appointment as arbitrators and TSD experts

Today, the European Commission published the pool of almost 400 individuals eligible for appointment as arbitrators for trade and sustainable development (TSD) experts in bilateral disputes under trade agreements with third countries.

The pool is the result of a new selection mechanism, addressing demands from stakeholders and the European Parliament for a more transparent, independent and inclusive process. The eligible candidates come from very diverse backgrounds and include legal practitioners and academics from all over the world and across the EU.

The Commission will draw on the new pool to make proposals for the appointment of arbitrators and TSD experts in specific cases, or for pre-agreed lists (rosters) under the relevant bilateral agreements with third countries. The Council will then make the final decision on such rosters.

In line with the Commission’s adherence to the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, the Commission will seek to ensure gender balance as regards appointments to rosters or specific disputes. It will also encourage its trading partners to do the same.


Dispute settlement is an important element in ensuring the correct implementation of the EU’s trade and investment agreements with third countries. The European Commission is responsible for representing the EU in any dispute settlement procedures. 

On 16 December 2020, the Commission adopted decision C(2020)8905 establishing a panel of independent experts to assist the Commission in the selection of adjudicators and arbitrators for dispute settlement mechanisms under EU trade and investment agreements.

In December 2020, the Commission had published a call for applications for the position of arbitrators and trade and sustainable development experts that attracted a large number of applications. The members of the independent selection panel of experienced international judges and academics, nominated by the European Parliament, the Council, Member States and the Commission, rigorously assessed each applicant’s individual suitability for appointment.

The candidates that passed the selection process are included in a pool, from which the Commission may choose individuals to be nominated for appointment in specific disputes or proposed to the Council for rosters, courts or tribunals under specific agreements. For the later, the final appointments will be decided by agreement with the third country concerned after the Council has adopted a decision pursuant to Article 218(9) TFEU.

For more information

Candidate pool

Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge

Commission decision C(2020)8905 on independent experts

Call for Applications


Publication date
23 June 2022
Directorate-General for Trade
Trade topics
  • Sustainable development