EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment – A Scoping Study

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Publication Date December 2020
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China and the EU are currently negotiating a new, far-reaching investment treaty called the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). The CAI is supposed to replace 26 existing bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between China and most EU member states. But it is far more ambitious than a mere update of these BITs, as it is going to cover a much more comprehensive ground.

In a scoping paper compiled by Jessica Lawrence and commissioned by Heinrich Böll Foundation, we focus on the potential risks for the EU from enshrining rights for Chinese investors in Europe in an inter-national investment treaty. We focus in these “defensive” interests, because investment treaties by their very nature restrict the ability of a state to regulate or even restrict foreign investment.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Investor Claims for Regulatory Changes
  • Weak Labour, Environmental, and Human Rights Protections
    • Weak TSD chapters
    • Missing investor obligations
  • Market Access and Critical Infrastructure
    • Energy Sector
    • Digital infrastructure
  • Human Rights Impacts
    • Specific problems with the 2017 SIA
    • Digital rights
    • Compliance with mandatory human rights due diligence laws
    • Free speech and public engagement in the EU
    • Gendered impacts
  • Conclusion
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