International Arbitration Tribunal rules in favour of Achmea
Dutch mutual insurer Achmea, owner of Union Zdravotna Poistovna won its long lasting legal battle with the Slovak Republic. Today the International Arbitration Tribunal dealing with the conflict between Achmea and the Slovak Republic handed down its final award, with a positive outcome for the Dutch insurer.
According to the Tribunal the Slovak Republic in 2006 and 2007 breached the provisions of the investment treaty between The Netherlands and Slovakia by fundamentally changing Slovak health insurance legislation with the aim of driving out and damaging investors in private health insurance companies like Achmea. In 2011 the Slovak Republic had already withdrawn the illegal legislative measures, after the Slovak Constitutional Court ruled them to violate the Constitution. According to the award of the International Arbitration Tribunal the Slovak Republic now in addition must pay Achmea EUR 22 million as compensation for the damages Achmea suffered during the time the harmful measures were in force. The Slovak Republic also must pay Achmea's legal cost as well as Achmea's part of the cost of the arbitration procedure, in total EUR 3 million. Achmea may enforce payment of these amounts as per today.
As Achmea's CEO Willem van Duin commented: "The rulings of both the Slovak Constitutional Court and the International Arbitration Tribunal clearly demonstrate that any attempt to force through the expropriation of private health insurers will result in failure - at great cost to the Slovak tax payers. This money could better be spent on improving the quality of Slovak health care and Union and Achmea are ready to cooperate on that."
Achmea has entered into a long term investment in the Slovak Republic and remains committed to that. The insurer wants to increase the number of customers that are served by Union Health Insurance substantially. Achmea knows it is evidenced in other countries, including Achmea's home country The Netherlands, that private health insurance companies contribute to the welfare and well-being of the population.