- Part I: Study on investment protection agreements as instruments of international economic law
- Brussels: Directorate-general for external policies, policy department, European Parliament
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance (ACELG)
This study seeks to set out briefly the historical background and the development of present-day Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) that have grown in sophistication and in number since the first one of this type of treaties was concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and Pakistan in 1959. It explains how such BITs combined elements from the historical international law doctrine on the treatment of aliens and their property and investments and from commercial arbitration. A third, very important, element was the linkage of such agreements to international dispute settlement treaties or centres, which enabled foreign investors to complain directly against the host State, often even bypassing its law and its judicial system. The key provisions that are habitually included in such agreements are explained and briefly analysed. Next, the paper shows how trade and investment were closely linked in the drafts for the post World War II economic order, were allowed to develop separately and now are being integrated again into single comprehensive trade agreements, of which the budding Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US is an example. The complications flowing from bringing together trade and investment in one agreement, but needing two different dispute settlement procedures, are given a first analysis. Careful technical legal work is still necessary to guide this into the right channels. Is the effort needed for that worth the trouble, given that the EU and the US have been able mutually to accommodate huge flows of investments without provoking major conflicts or economic accidents? That question is given a tentative answer in the Conclusion. This study serves as background and primer to two other studies prepared for the European Parliament by professors Ingolf Pernice and Steffen Hindelang.
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