Webinar: COVID-19 Response Measures and the Protection of Foreign Direct Investments

100 Dollar banknote

Protecting Legitimate Expectations or Cashing In On the Pandemic?

28 January 2021, 3-6 pm CET, Zoom platform

Free registration is required, join the webinar here.

The Global Pandemic Network, and its partner institutions University of Hasselt and University of Copenhagen – Centre for International Law and Governance, are pleased to invite you to the webinar ‘Covid-19 Response Measures and the Protection of Foreign Direct Investments: Protecting Legitimate Expectations or Cashing In On the Pandemic?’.

International investment law has been particularly affected by policy measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On one hand, governments have manifested their concern that the economic turbulence related to the pandemic might be exploited by foreign investors for the ‘predatory acquisition’ of strategic assets, introducing tighter rules for a more careful screening of foreign direct investments (FDIs). On the other hand, foreign investors negatively affected by national response measures have threatened legal challenges before arbitration tribunals, giving rise to a vivid debate on the opportunity of a moratorium on investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS). Taking stock of these developments, this webinar provides a timely appraisal of the emerging frictions between the defense of competing national and supranational interests and the promotion of foreign investments in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Dr. David Collins (City University of London)
  • Chijioke Chijioke-Oforji (Liverpool John Moores University)
  • Dr. Leonie Reins (Tilburg University)
  • Lise Johnson (Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment)
  • Kabir Duggal (Columbia Law School)
  • Dr. Ilaria Espa (Università della Svizzera Italiana)
  • Soo-Hyun Lee (Lund University)

Programme of the webinar

The webinar will consist of a 3-hours event to be held on 28 January 2021, 3-6 pm CET, on the Zoom platform. It will be moderated by Matteo Fermeglia (Hasselt University) and Alessandro Monti (University of Copenhagen).

  • Opening remarks: Brief introduction of the topics of the webinar and introduction of the GPN
    by Fabio Bassan, GPN Steering Committee, Roma Tre University
  • Keynote speech: Too Much or Not Enough: Can International Investment Law Provide a Framework through which States are Held Liable for Covid-19? – David Collins, City University of London 
  • Panel 1: EU foreign investment policies in a Covid-19 world: General and sectoral challenges
    Chair: Matteo Fermeglia, Hasselt University

    • The EU FDI Screening Framework in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic – Leonie Reins, Tilburg University
    • The backlash against intra-EU ISDS and the modernization of the Energy Charter Treaty in a post-Covid world – Ilaria Espa, Università della Svizzera Italiana
    • Q&A session
  • Panel 2: Current developments in the regulation of foreign direct investments: A global perspective
    Chair: Alessandro Monti, University of Copenhagen

    • Work-from-Home Asian Tigers: Investment Liberalization in a Pandemic World – Soo-Hyun Lee, Lund University
    • The 2020 CFIUS/FIRRMA setup and its relationship with the US executive powers amidst the COVID-19 crisis – Chijioke Chijioke-Oforji, Liverpool John Moores University
    • Q&A session 
  • Panel 3: A global moratorium on ISDS: Opportunities and challenges
    Chairs: Matteo Fermeglia, Hasselt University & Alessandro Monti, University of Copenhagen

    • ISDS Moratorium During Covid-19 Crisis and Response – Lise Johnson, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
    • Potential Effects and Systemic Impacts of a Global ISDS Moratorium – Kabir Duggal, Columbia Law School
    • Q&A session 
  • Concluding remarks: Presentation of the ITLR Call for Papers by the Moderators and David Collins, City University of London

The full webinar programme: COVID-19 Response Measures and the Protection of Foreign Direct Investments (pdf)


Abstracts of the webinar presentations (pdf)

The webinar is primarily aimed at (legal) researchers. Participation by representatives of international institutions and organisations, as well as legal practitioners, is also gladly welcome.