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Foreign Investors in the EU—Which ‘Best Treatment’? Interactions Between Bilateral Investment Treaties and EU Law

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This article discusses the main interactions between bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and EU law. The European Commission identified a number of incompatibilities in BITs signed by eight recent Member States with the USA, proposing solutions for their adjustment in conformity with EU law, but was this step sufficient? The risk of disputes remains, as long as the proposed adjustments do not achieve legal force and as long as other BITs still need to be harmonised with EU law. Moreover, provisions in BITs that are not in conflict with EU law could still be challenged if the application of certain EU requirements by Member States interferes with foreign investors' rights. To avoid such risks, coherence between different commitments and practices of the Member States is needed and coordination at the EU level is highly desirable.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: International Consultant, former UN consultant in the field of international investment agreements.

Publication date: March 1, 2008


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