European Union - Bilateral Investment AgreementsEuropean Union - Agreements
The EU as a whole does not yet have any traditional bilateral investment treaties (BITs), although virtually all the member states have extensive networks of such treaties with third countries. Other agreements with preferential trading partners have contained provisions directly addressing treatment of investment, generally providing national treatment after establishment and repatriation of capital and profits.
The adoption in December 2009 of the Lisbon Treaty has changed in major respects how the EU treats investment. Since Lisbon makes foreign direct investment an exclusive EU competence, a broad definition of FDI extends EU authority over much of the subject matter hitherto addressed under member state BITs. The Council has so far granted the Commission authority to negotiate investment chapters in free trade agreements. The Commission has indicated that it does not plan to develop a model investment treaty, preferring instead to establish general objectives and principles.
Other regional or multilateral agreements addressing the admission and treatment of investors to which the Community and/or its member states have adhered include:
a) The OECD codes of liberalization, which provide for non-discrimination and standstill for establishment and capital movements, including foreign direct investment;
b) The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), which contains a "best efforts" national treatment clause for the making of investments in the energy sector but full protections thereafter; and
c) The GATS, which contains national treatment, market access, and MFN obligations on measures affecting the supply of services, including in relation to the mode of commercial presence.
European Union 28 Economic Development and Investment Market Access International Agreements