Logo UHasselt


CORe - Centrum voor Overheid en Recht


CORe - Centrum voor Overheid en Recht

Logo UHasselt Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action


Webinar: COVID-19 Response measures and the protection of foreign direct investments


28 jan 2021 15.00 uur - 18.00 uur



Prof. dr. Matteo FERMEGLIA





Protecting Legitimate Expectations or Cashing In On the Pandemic?

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed some fundamental vulnerabilities of our society, shaking the foundations of economic globalization and giving rise to an inward turn of global economic policies. The field of international investment law has been particularly affected by policy measures adopted as a 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 GPN webinar provides a timely appraisal, from a global perspective, of the emerging frictions between the defense of national security interests and the promotion of foreign investments in response to the global health crisis.


Opening remarks: Brief introduction of the topics of the webinar and introduction of the GPN by Fabio Bassan, GPN Steering Committee, University of Roma Tre

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 sector challenges
Chair: Matteo Fermeglia, Hasselt University

The EU FDI Screening Framework in the context of the COVID-19 pandemicLeonie 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 description of the webinar is available here and a collection of the abstracts of the presentations can be accessed here.

(Free) registration for the Zoom webinar is required via this link.

Matteo Fermeglia (Hasselt University), matteo.fermeglia@uhasselt.be
Alessandro Monti (University of Copenhagen), alessandro.monti@jur.ku.dk