The Preliminary Failure of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment


After seven years and a total of 35 rounds of negotiations, a decision was reached at the end of December 2020: The EU and China reached an agreement on the so-called Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (hereinafter “CAI”).

In May 2021, however, ratification of the CAI was put on hold after the EU imposed punitive measures against China for human rights violations and China responded with sanctions. While a comprehensive investment agreement would have been welcome, the preliminary failure of the CAI should be seen above all as an opportunity to make up for omissions in its negotiation and thus to ensure that the interests of European investors in China really are comprehensively protected.