JustInvest research proposal
Operationalizing a just and sustainable international investment policy for Europe (JustInvest)
Horizon 2020 Call: H2020-INT-SOCIETY-2015 Topic: INT-03-2015
European international investment policy is at the core of the debate on globalization and global justice. This project asks how the EU can promote an international investment regime that simultaneously meets 1) the need for protection of its outbound investment, 2) a set of global justice criteria, and 3) Europe’s own constitutional values. European states have strongly promoted investment treaties – they have signed almost half of the world’s 3200 treaties, and the 2009 Lisbon Treaty transferred power to negotiate future treaties from Member States to the EU. However, the international investment regime has become a lightning rod for criticism. Opponents claim that investor protection simply advantages Western corporations while negatively impacting on human rights, the environment and the policy autonomy of developing and developed states. As Europe is committed to expanding economic globalization and supporting human rights, democracy, the rule of law and sustainable development, the case of EU’s foreign investment governance reveals the tensions and trade-offs we frequently face in a globalized world. Accordingly, the project develops and implements a framework for concretizing value-based concepts, such as human rights, democracy, the rule of law and sustainable development, as evaluative benchmarks. It will proceed – based on extensive databases on investment treaties and arbitration – by means of transdisciplinary analyses of previous and proposed European international investment policy. The findings contribute to explain how the EU can develop its international investment policy as a tool for promoting global justice. The theoretical and methodological framework employed to analyse and evaluate European international investment policy will be further refined so that it can suit as a tool to ensure that the EU’s policy choices in other areas of its external relations are consistent with the demands of global justice.