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

Overview


After seven years and a total of 35 rounds of negotiations, the time had finally come at the end of December 2020: the EU and China announced that they had reached an agreement on the so-called Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (hereinafter “CAI”).
However, ratification of the CAI was put on hold in May 2021 after the EU imposed punitive measures against China for human rights violations and China in turn responded with sanctions. While a comprehensive investment agreement would have been welcome in many respects, the preliminary failure of the CAI should be seen above all as an opportunity to make up for omissions in its negotiation and thus ensure that the interests of European investors in China really are comprehensively protected.