Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: December 2011

10 - The European Union as a global investment partner: Law, policy and rhetoric in the attainment of development assistance and market liberalisation?

from Part III - Actors in international investment law

Summary

Introduction

The European Union's (EU) interest and involvement in foreign direct investment (FDI) is by no means new. However, it has only been comparatively recently that one has been able to begin to distinguish the particularities of a specific EU approach to FDI, especially when placed within a broader developmental context. The approach has been most visible during the ongoing negotiations of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) grouping of States. Though the EU–ACP relationship is often promoted (by the EU) as a model of mutual and benign co-operation between economically divergent States, the relationship highlights, in fact, political and normative challenges for both sides. In particular, whereas the EU has sought to utilise its links with the ACP countries to fashion a uniquely global role for itself, practice suggests this relationship is much more problematic for both. And what has in the past proved true for trade, is proving equally true in relation to FDI.

This chapter seeks to critically address the role of the EU as a global investment actor, with particular focus on the supposed synergies between FDI as a development assistance tool and FDI as a means to promote market liberalisation. This is especially significant as the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009 has, for the first time, introduced the first explicit reference to foreign investment in the EU's treaty arrangements. While the grant of competence to the EU in this area will provide a clearer mandate for action, it fails to resolve the overarching question as to its purpose. The chapter thus focuses on one particular aspect of this broader debate, namely, the negotiation of investment provisions within EPAs, with particular comment on the investment provisions of the 2008 EPA negotiated between the EU and the Caribbean States. In devising the rules on investment, the final text is innovative in numerous respects, though whether the investment liberalisation attained will also provide the stated developmental benefits is more contested. The chapter concludes by noting the unique range of pressures exerted on the EU in framing co-ordinated policies in the areas of FDI and development; thus, while the EU's rhetoric is often extremely positive on such issues, its capacity to implement them – and implement them fully and in an integrated manner – is invariably subject to the risk of incoherence and fragmentation.

Cardwell, P. J.French, D.‘Liberalising investment in the CARIFORUM–EU Economic Partnership Agreement: EU priorities, regional agendas and developmental hegemony’Cordonier Segger, M.-C.Gehring, M.Newcombe, A.Sustainable Development in World Investment LawThe HagueKluwer 2011 433
Wehland, H.‘Intra-EU investment agreements and arbitration: Is European Community law an obstacle?’International and Comparative Law Quarterly 58 2009 297
Koutrakos, P.EU International Relations LawHart 2006
de Búrca, G.Scott, J.The EU and the WTO: Legal and constitutional issuesHart 2002
Subedi, S.International Investment Law: Reconciling policy and principleHart 2008 37
Qureshi, A.Ziegler, A.International Economic LawSweet and Maxwell 2007 401
Wouters, J.Coppens, D.De Meester, B.‘The European Union's external relations after the Lisbon Treaty’Griller, S.Ziller, J.The Lisbon Treaty: EU constitutionalism without a constitutional treaty?Springer-Verlag 2008 171
Denza, E.‘Bilateral investment treaties and EU rules on Free Transfer: Comment on , and ’European Law Review 35 2010 263
Vis-Dunbar, D.‘The Lisbon Treaty: Implications for Europe's international investment agreements’Trade Negotiations Insights 8 2009
Koeb, E.‘The Lisbon Treaty: Implications for ACP–EU relations’Trade Negotiations Insights 8 2009
Mayall, J.‘The shadow of empire: The EU and the former colonial world’Hill, C.Smith, M.International Relations and the European UnionOxford 2005 307
Eeckhout, P.External Relations of the European UnionOxford 2004 381
Gehl, F.‘Services and EPA: A difficult but vital relationship’Trade Negotiations Insights 8 2009
Sauvé, P.Ward, N.‘The EC–CARIFORUM economic partnership agreement: Assessing the outcome on services and investment’BrusselsEuropean Centre for International Political Economy 2009
Dimopoulos, A.‘The common commercial policy after Lisbon: Establishing parallelism between internal and external economic relations?’Croatian Yearbook of European Law and Policy 4 2008 101
Westcott, T.‘Investment provisions and commitments in the CARIFORUM–EU EPA’Trade Negotiations Insights 7 2008
Stichele, M.ACP Regionalism: Thwarted by EPAs and interim agreements on services and investmentsSOMO 2007