ISDS - a priority in the EU trade policy?
Should the EU drop its ambition to have ISDS in TTIP - and perhaps in other trade agreements too? Investor protection has become a hut-button issue in EU trade politics, but few in the debate come with facts-based arguments. In a recent ECIPE publication experts have surveyed the recent decade of ISDS activity and found that the cases has continued to grow, and that the growth is concentrated to certain sectors with a high degree of government involvement or political patronage. Martina Ferracane and Fredrik Erixon have also commented on the role of ISDS in contemporary EU trade agreements with the focus on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement. In a previous work ECIPE has also analyzed ‘Repsol case’ in Argentina and its impact on investment protection issues. ECIPE has also recently launched a Twitter debate on ISDS provision in the EU trade agreement. Follow the discussion via #ECIPEdebates.
EU-China settle telecom equipment disputeThe European Commission and Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on October 20 - separately - that a settlement had been reached that ends the EU CVD case against Chinese telecom equipment. Europe’s first ex officio investigation on Chinese subsidies quickly evolved into a matter of national prestige, internal divide and a two-year long episode of trade war. ECIPE scholars have commented on the case in various publications and in the media.
ECIPE is recruiting!We are now looking for a Research Assistant for our Spring Internships Programme. If you are a recent Master's Graduate with interest in trade policy and political economy visit our website for more information and application deadline!
Next-generation trade defence: government-sponsored patent funds?
Investing in Obesity Treatment would Reduce Healthcare SpendingThe obesity rate is growing fast – in Europe and around the world – and no government has effective policies for preventing obesity to increase healthcare expenditures. Yet while governments have been slow to react, medical scientists have now a good view of “what works” and “what doesn’t work” in policies to reduce obesity. A new study by ECIPE economists estimates that European countries stand to make huge savings in future healthcare expenditures if they use effective lifestyle weight management programmes to treat obesity today. If governments invest in smart obesity treatment, the UK and Spain could reduce healthcare expenditures related to obesity in 2030 by 10 and 12 percent. Germany could save around 6 percent while Sweden could “save” as much as 55 percent of future healthcare expenditures related to obesity.
How Can Europe Respond to an Authoritarian Russia?Russia’s invasion of Crimea has sent shock waves through the international community but is not surprising in light of the Kremlin’s authoritarian and imperialistic ideology. As was shown in two papers by Fredrik Erixon and Iana Dreyer, Russia has been building military and economic statecraft on the back of its energy riches – and the EU has been far too weak to diminish its economic dependency on Russia. Broad economic sanctions by the EU is therefore highly unlikely, even if Russia’s investment in and export to Europe is so big that sanctions could put Russia Inc out of business. As Hosuk Lee-Makiyama has argued, economic sanctions usually do not work. And what it is important now for the EU, in addition to shaping a response to the Crimean occupation, is to reshape its approach to Russia with the effect of cutting its dependency on an authoritarian regime.