The European Union and the Space-Time Continuum of Investment Agreements
22 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 12, 2017
The 2009 Lisbon Treaty transferred the competence over Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy from the national to the supranational level. This article analyses the impact of this transfer on the content of international investment agreements and, more broadly, the shape of the investment regime complex. Is the competence shift expected to have an independent impact or simply reproduce and continue existing trends? Exploring these two conjectures through a combination of text analysis, primary materials, and interviews, we are making a Historical Institutionalist argument focusing on the timing and sequencing of international investment negotiations. While the competence shift has allowed the EU to innovate in developing its own approach to negotiating international investment agreements, notably with the proposal to create an Investment Court System, the novelty may be only at the surface as the constraints of past, current, and future negotiations restrict the options available to EU actors - we call this the space-time continuum. The result of this learning-and-reacting process is a new European approach which simultaneously duplicates and innovates and could eventually favour greater centralization within the investment regime complex.
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