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Online discussion

Wednesday, 09. December 2020 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Save in my calendar

Online discussion

The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI)

Discussion on a new study by Dr. Jessica Lawrence, with Prof. Dr. Markus Krajewski

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. It will cover not only the rights of existing foreign investors in each jurisdiction, but aims at a far reaching liberalisation of investment. 

China is home to some of the biggest companies on earth, some of them state-owned and others private. It has a very peculiar economic and political system, where the boundaries between state and private sector are blurred. As China has embarked on an assertive policy that puts it at odds with many European values, it is now seen by the EU as a negotiating partner, an economic competitor, and a systemic rival. 

In a scoping paper compiled by Dr. Jessica Lawrence and commissioned by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung e.V., we focus on the potential risks for the EU from enshrining rights for Chinese investors in Europe in an international 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. Dr. Jessica Lawrence will discuss the implications of a CAI for the EU with Prof. Dr. Markus Krajewski, one of the foremost experts on international investment law.

Presentation of the study:

•    Dr. Jessica Lawrence, Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex School of Law and expert in international trade and investment agreements and her co-author-team 


•    Prof. Dr. Markus Krajewski, Holder of the Chair of Public Law and International Law, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg

The event will be held in English. For further questions please contact Helena Hoffmeister at

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