In 2009, the EU acquired exclusive competence on foreign direct investment (FDI), which allows the EU to conclude investment protection treaties. Since that time, the EU has concluded trade and investment agreements with Singapore and Canada, and is negotiating a number of additional treaties, including an agreement with China and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) agreement with the United States. In connection with those negotiations, the EU has also prompted a broad reexamination — within the EU and beyond — of policies regarding promotion and protection of FDI, and the use of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Colin Brown discussed the EU’s experiences thus far, and also provided insights as to what may lie ahead.
Colin Brown is Deputy Head of Unit, Dispute Settlement and Legal Aspects of Trade Policy, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission, and Visiting Lecturer, Catholic University of Louvain.