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International Investment Policy- Views from the EU Council

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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

International Investment Policy- Views from the EU Council

The 31st Council meeting on Foreign Affairs held in Brussels on September 2010  took note of the presentation by the Commission of a communication on the development of an EU policy on international investments and It held an exchange of views. Globalisation has seen a dramatic increase of capital movements in recent years; in 2007, FDI flows reached a record high of almost EUR 1.5 billion. Under article 207 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force in December 2009, foreign direct investment (FDI) is a policy area of exclusive EU competence as part of its common commercial policy. Until now, the member states have negotiated bilateral investment treaties with third countries. As a first step in addressing the effects of this new EU competence, the Commission presented in July a policy package comprising the communication and a proposal for a regulation aimed at establishing transitional arrangements for the member states bilateral investment treaties. The communication addresses issues such as the definition of FDI, the criteria for selecting prospective negotiating partners, standards for future investment agreements at EU level and the settlement of disputes. During the course of the Council's discussion, delegations highlighted the need to put into place as soon as possible a comprehensive and efficient framework for investment agreements at EU level. They underscored the need, in doing so, to ensure legal certainty for operators, as well as predictability and maximum protection for EU investors abroad, and to maintain the EU as an attractive destination for investment.

Source: Council of the European Union