Obstacles, Opportunities, and Red Lines in the European Union: Past and Future of the CAI in Times of (Geo)-Politicisation

In: The Journal of World Investment & Trade
Matthieu Burnay School of Law, Queen Mary University London United Kingdom

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Kolja Raube Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and Faculty of Social Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Leuven Belgium

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The conclusion and suspension of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) between the EU and China have been drawing substantial international academic attention over the last two years. To add to the ongoing debate, this article asks how one can best explain the conclusion and the suspension by the EU of the ratification of the CAI? And, secondly, the article focuses on the lessons which the EU can draw from the suspension of the CAI. By looking at the CAI background, negotiations and early ratification phase, the article sets out conceptually and empirically how a compartmentalisation and geo-politicisation of EU trade and investment policy contributed to the rise and fall of the CAI. Moreover, the article points to important lessons for future coherent and strategic investment policies. More specifically, it shows the need to bring together increasing investment flows with a sustained EU commitment to its very own founding values.

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