EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment

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Summary:

Information Guide on a bilateral agreement negotiated and concluded by the European Union (EU) and China, known as the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI).

Further information:

An impact assessment was carried by the European Commission in 2013 concerning an investment agreement with China. In October 2013, the Council of the European Union adopted the EU's negotiating mandate for talks. The first round of negotiations for the CAI were launched in January 2014. A Sustainability Impact Assessment was carried between 2015-2018 to assess the potential economic, social and environmental impact of the agreement. In 2016, the EU and China agreed on the scope of such agreement. The conclusion of the negotiations and agreement in principle was announced on 30 December 2020.

The document foresees an improvement to market access conditions for European companies; fair competition when operating in China; transparency, predictability and legal certainty of the investment environment; commitments on the behaviour of state-owned enterprises and increased transparency of subsidies; the centrality of sustainable development; provisions on investment protection and dispute settlement.

The European Commission announced on 4 May 2021 the suspension of efforts to ratify this Agreement. This decision resulted from increasing diplomatic tension between the European Union and China, including the establishment of sanctions from both sides.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, October 2013: EU-China bilateral investment agreement https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=LDM_BRI(2013)130642
PISM: Policy Paper No. 91, April 2014: Rocky Road to a Level Playing Field in EU–China Investment and Trade Relations https://www.pism.pl/files/?id_plik=17005
Egmont Institute: Policy Brief No. 68, February 2016: The EU–China Bilateral Investment Agreement. Between high hopes and real challenges http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/74535
Leiden University: Law Blog, 19/07/2018: Bilateral Investment between EU and China is Top Priority https://leidenlawblog.nl/articles/bilateral-investment-between-eu-and-china-is-top-priority
EPRS: Briefing, September 2020: EU–China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Levelling the playing field with China [International Agreements in Progress] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2020)652066
CEPS: In Brief, 19/10/2020: EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment https://www.ceps.eu/eu-china-comprehensive-agreement-on-investment/
Bruegel: Blog, 17/12/2020: When and how should the European Union conclude an investment agreement with China? https://www.bruegel.org/2020/12/when-and-how-should-the-european-union-conclude-an-investment-agreement-with-china/
EUObserver: Opinion, 18/12/2020: EU should not rush investment deal with China https://euobserver.com/opinion/150432
Atlantic Council: Blog, 22/12/2020: An EU-China investment deal is near—but is it ‘worth having?’ https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/an-eu-china-investment-deal-is-near-but-is-it-worth-having/
Euronews, 30/12/2020: EU and China set to agree investment deal, but could human rights concerns scupper it being signed? https://www.euronews.com/2020/12/30/eu-and-china-set-to-sign-historic-investment-deal-but-could-human-rights-concerns-scupper-
Forbes, 31/12/2020: What The European Union And China Investment Agreement Will Mean For Future Retail Trade Deals https://www.forbes.com/sites/tiffanylung/2021/12/31/what-the-european-union-and-china-investment-agreement-will-mean-for-future-retail-trade-deals/
Foreign Policy, 31/12/2020: What Merkel Really Thinks About China — and the World https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/12/31/what-merkel-really-thinks-about-china-and-the-world/
Euro|topics, January 2021: EU and China conclude investment deal https://www.eurotopics.net/en/253883/
EurActiv, 05/01/2021: China investment agreement and the golden calf of EU unity https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-china/opinion/china-investment-agreement-and-the-golden-calf-of-eu-unity/
The Economist, 07/01/2021: Cynicism explains a flawed new EU-China commercial pact https://www.economist.com/china/2021/01/07/cynicism-explains-a-flawed-new-eu-china-commercial-pact
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 07/01/2021: Judy Asks: Is the EU-China Deal a Mistake? https://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/83572
Politico: Europe At Large, 08/01/2021: In defense of the EU-China investment deal https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-at-large-eu-china-investment-deal/
Social Europe, 11/01/2021: EU-China investment deal: a ‘values-based’ relationship? https://www.socialeurope.eu/eu-china-investment-deal-a-values-based-relationship
EUObserver: Opinion, 11/01/2021: Europe must plot its own course on China https://euobserver.com/opinion/150552
LSE: US Centre Blog, 13/01/2021: A China Strategy to Reunite America’s Allies https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2021/01/13/a-china-strategy-to-reunite-americas-allies/
ETUC: Joint Appeal on the Inclusion of Enforceable Human Rights Clauses in the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (13 January 2021) https://www.etuc.org/sites/default/files/publication/file/2021-01/JOINT%20APPEAL%20ON%20THE%20INCLUSION%20OF%20A%20HUMAN%20RIGHTS%20CLAUSE%20%281%29.pdf
ICDS: Commentary, 15/01/2021: EU-China Investment Deal: A Transatlantic Problem First and Foremost https://icds.ee/en/eu-china-investment-deal-a-transatlantic-problem-first-and-foremost/
DGAP: Online Commentary, 19/01/2021: The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI - One Deal, Two Realities https://dgap.org/en/research/publications/eu-china-comprehensive-agreement-investment-cai
Institut Montaigne: Policy Paper, 20/01/2021: Wins and Losses in the EU-China Investment Agreement (CAI) https://www.institutmontaigne.org/en/publications/wins-and-losses-eu-china-investment-agreement-cai
Foreign Policy, 21/01/2021: Europe Is Getting Closer to China, But Biden Can Pull It Back https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/01/21/china-eu-agreement-investment-cai-biden-transatlantic-rift/
ECFR: Commentary, 21/01/2021: Europe’s China deal: How not to work with the Biden administration https://ecfr.eu/article/europes-china-deal-how-not-to-work-with-the-biden-administration/
Bruegel: Podcast, 27/01/2021: A rushed deal or a rush to judgement? https://www.bruegel.org/2021/01/a-rushed-deal-or-a-rush-to-judgement/
France 24: Talking Europe, 29/01/2021: EU-China relations: Human rights concerns over new trade agreement https://www.france24.com/en/tv-shows/talking-europe/20210129-eu-china-relations-human-rights-concerns-over-new-trade-agreement
Kiel Institute for the World Economy: Kiel Focus, February 2021: The EU-China Investment Agreement as seen from Europe: achievements with shortfalls https://www.ifw-kiel.de/publications/kiel-focus/2021/the-eu-china-investment-agreement-as-seen-from-europe-achievements-with-shortfalls-15852/
Project Syndicate: Commentary, 04/02/2021: The Limits of the EU-China Investment Agreement https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/eu-china-investment-agreement-criticisms-by-daniel-gros-2021-02
PIIE: Blog, 10/02/2021: Can the EU-China investment deal lead to global economic cooperation? https://www.piie.com/blogs/trade-and-investment-policy-watch/can-eu-china-investment-deal-lead-global-economic
Atlantic Council: Blog, 26/02/2021: Why tactical bargaining won the EU-China Investment Deal https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/why-tactical-bargaining-won-the-eu-china-investment-deal/
PIIE: Blog, 10/03/2021: EU-China investment accord fails to resolve subsidy disputes https://www.piie.com/blogs/trade-and-investment-policy-watch/eu-china-investment-accord-fails-resolve-subsidy-disputes
EPRS: Briefing, March 2021: EU–China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Levelling the playing field with China [International Agreements in Progress] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2021)679103
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 23/03/2021: Putting the China-EU investment agreement in perspective – and assessing the lessons for the UK https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2021/03/23/putting-the-china-eu-investment-agreement-in-perspective-and-assessing-the-lessons-for-the-uk/
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Article, 24/03/2021: Europe’s Tightrope Diplomacy on China https://carnegieendowment.org/2021/03/24/europe-s-tightrope-diplomacy-on-china-pub-84159
Foreign Policy, 29/03/2021: China and Europe Are Breaking Over Human Rights https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/03/29/europe-cai-china-human-rights-uyghurs-sanctions/
EPRS: Blog, 30/03/2021: Citizens’ Enquiries On Ratification Of The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement On Investment https://epthinktank.eu/2021/03/30/citizens-enquiries-on-ratification-of-the-eu-china-comprehensive-agreement-on-investment/
FIIA: Comment No 5, 31/03/2021: EU-China investment agreement: the EU’s balancing act between values and economic interests https://www.fiia.fi/en/publication/eu-china-investment-agreement
Bruegel: Policy Contribution, 13/04/2021: Is the European Union’s investment agreement with China underrated? https://www.bruegel.org/2021/04/is-the-european-unions-investment-agreement-with-china-underrated/
ECFR: Policy Brief, 15/04/2021: Home advantage: How China’s protected market threatens Europe’s economic power https://ecfr.eu/publication/home-advantage-how-chinas-protected-market-threatens-europes-economic-power/
VOA News, 28/04/2021: Is EU-China Investment Deal ‘Dead as a Doornail’? https://www.voanews.com/europe/eu-china-investment-deal-dead-doornail

News
EUObserver, 09/10/2013: EU-China trade talks set for November launch https://euobserver.com/economic/121729
Bloomberg, 10/12/2020: Scrapped China Talks Cast Shadow Over EU Investment Pact https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-10/scrapped-china-talks-cast-shadow-over-planned-eu-investment-deal
Bloomberg, 18/12/2020: China Says EU Investment Deal in Final Stage, Hails Progress https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-18/eu-agrees-in-principle-investment-pact-with-china-scmp-says
Reuters, 18/12/2020: China, EU aim for investment pact by year-end, Germany says https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN28S13X
Politico, 22/12/2020: EU-China investment deal hits a snag as US exerts pressure https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-china-investment-deal-no-show-us-forced-labor/
VOA News, 25/12/2020: EU-China Investment Talks Near Completion, Raising Concerns https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/voa-news-china/eu-china-investment-talks-near-completion-raising-concerns
France24, 26/12/2020: European businesses hopeful of China-EU investment deal https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20201226-european-businesses-hopeful-of-china-eu-investment-deal
The Guardian, 29/12/2020: China and EU poised to sign long-delayed investment deal https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/29/china-and-eu-poised-to-sign-long-delayed-investment-deal
Deutsche Welle, 29/12/2020: EU-China investment deal done and dusted https://p.dw.com/p/3nKvM
Politico, 29/12/2020: China promises to ban forced labor under EU investment deal https://www.politico.eu/article/china-uighur-forced-labor-eu-investment-deal/
BBC News, 29/12/2020: China and EU 'on verge' of major investment deal https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55464564
Associated Press, 30/12/2020: EU, China leaders seal long-awaited investment deal https://apnews.com/article/europe-emmanuel-macron-xi-jinping-angela-merkel-china-b70f62192e9e53c16ece032bd54a9e72
RTÉ News, 30/12/2020: EU seeks to rebalance China ties with investment agreement https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2020/1230/1186992-eu-china-investment-deal/
Politico, 06/01/2021: MEPs emerge as top hurdle to EU-China trade deal https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-china-trade-deal-european-parliament-objections/
Reuters, 07/01/2021: Investment deal expected to bolster European dealmaking in China https://www.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN29C0LE
Politico, 08/10/2021: Australia offers Europe a warning on a trade deal with China https://www.politico.eu/article/autralia-europe-china-trade-deal-warning/
Politico, 12/01/2021: EU will not ask China to sign forced labor ban before ratifying investment deal, says French minister https://www.politico.eu/article/frances-riester-eu-will-not-ask-china-to-sign-forced-labor-ban-before-ratifying-investment-deal/
Euronews, 12/01/2021: Brussels-Beijing deal could threaten cooperation with US on China https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/12/brussels-beijing-deal-could-threaten-cooperation-with-us-on-china
The Guardian, 21/01/2021: China deal damages EU's human rights credibility, MEPs to say https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/21/china-deal-damages-eus-human-rights-credibility-meps-to-say
Spiegel Online International, 25/01/2021: Experts Demand Suspension of EU-China Investment Deal https://www.spiegel.de/international/business/human-rights-concerns-experts-demand-suspension-of-eu-china-investment-deal-a-f81c9641-9ed6-4a59-bfb8-5a4508201bfd
EurActiv, 28/01/2021: European Commission defends China trade deal after MEP warning https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-china/news/european-commission-defends-china-trade-deal-after-mep-warning/
VOA News, 12/02/2021:  China Investment Deal Seen as Test of EU Cohesion https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/voa-news-china/china-investment-deal-seen-test-eu-cohesion
RFI News, 12/03/2021: EU hesitates over investment deal with increasingly authoritarian China https://www.rfi.fr/en/international/20210312-eu-hesitates-over-investment-deal-with-increasingly-authoritarian-china
Reuters, 23/03/2021: EU-China deal grinds into reverse after tit-for-tat sanctions https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2BF276
EUObserver, 23/03/2021: China-EU relations on knife-edge after sanctions https://euobserver.com/world/151323
The Guardian, 04/05/2021: EU efforts to ratify China investment deal ‘suspended’ after sanctions https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/04/eu-suspends-ratification-of-china-investment-deal-after-sanctions
Deutsche Welle, 04/05/2021: EU-China investment deal put on ice over sanctions https://p.dw.com/p/3sxZH
Politico, 04/05/2021: EU trade chief says efforts to ratify China deal ‘suspended’ https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-trade-chief-says-efforts-to-ratify-china-deal-suspended/
Euronews, 04/05/2021: EU suspends efforts to ratify controversial investment deal with China https://www.euronews.com/2021/05/04/eu-suspends-efforts-to-ratify-controversial-investment-deal-with-china
EurActiv, 05/05/2021: EU efforts to ratify China investment deal ‘suspended’ after sanctions https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-china/news/eu-efforts-to-ratify-china-investment-deal-suspended-after-sanctions/

Official
European Commission: DG Trade: EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2115
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (EU-China CAI) https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-a-balanced-and-progressive-trade-policy-to-harness-globalisation/file-eu-china-investment-agreement
European Commission: Press Release, 23/05/2013: Commission proposes to open negotiations for an investment agreement with China https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_13_458
European Commission: Speech by EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht on the EU-China investment agreement (8 October 2013) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/SPEECH_13_793
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Resolution on the EU-China negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement (2013) https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2013/2674
European Parliament: Press Release, 09/10/2013: MEPs ask to improve rules for EU industry operating in China https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20131004IPR21516/
Chinese State Council: News, 10/04/2019: China, EU aim to conclude comprehensive investment agreement in 2020 http://english.www.gov.cn/premier/news/2019/04/10/content_281476601694690.htm
European Commission: Press Release, 30/12/2020: EU and China reach agreement in principle on investment https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2541
European Commission: Press Release, 30/12/2020: Key elements of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2542
European Commission: Q&A: EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) (30 December 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_2543
German Federal Government: News, 30/12/2020: The EU and China - Agreement in principle reached on investment https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-en/news/eu-china-investitionsabkommen-1833568
EU EEAS: Delegation of the European Union to China: Fact Sheet of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (7 January 2021) https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/china/91230/
European Commission: DG Trade, 12/03/2021: Commission publishes market access offers of the EU-China investment agreement https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2253

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