CIArb in attendance of the EFILA conference in Amsterdam

Attendees at the EFILA conference in Amsterdam

On Thursday 9 June 2022, the annual European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration (EFILA) conference took place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The one-day conference featured four panels with many expert speakers, and focussed on the all-important question of “is the EU still an attractive investment destination?”

The four panels consisted of the following:

  • Panel 1: New directions in Investment Protection in the EU: current developments 
  • Panel 2: What options remain after the ISDS-ban in the EU?
  • Keynote speech: “Europe as an investment destination – it’s the politics, stupid”, followed by an additional panel discussion on the same topic
  • Panel 3: The Russian/Ukraine conflict and its implications for the European FDI landscape

There were three to four experts speaking on every panel, providing insightful comments, and engaging in detailed discussion with other panellists and members of the audience. Notably, there were complex debates on intra- and extra- EU trade, the “open, sustainable and assertive” ongoing EU trade policy and what the future holds in this area for everyone involved around the world. Also, there were questions surrounding ISDS and potential reforms, as well as comments on the importance of the Achmea case and how its consequences can be felt throughout the arbitral world.

Professor Dr Anne van Aaken, a German lawyer and economist, who is a full professor of law and economics, legal theory, public international law and European law at the University of Hamburg, gave the keynote speech. Her speech was entitled “Europe as an Investment Destination – It’s the Politics”.

Overall, she noted that Europe is an attractive destination for Europe for several reasons, but she stressed that she was not a Pangloss, a fictional character who is a symbol of foolhardy optimism. She noted that there are several political risks, including potential political instability, risks around the rule of law, populistic nationalism, supply chain and food concerns, amongst others. Her keynote speech was met with a round of applause and followed by another panel discussion on the same topic.

Other notable parts during the day included a brief presentation of the Jus Mundi Search Engine for International Law and Arbitration, as well as the official launch of the Young EFILA network, which is seeing to encourage younger members of the arbitral world to become more actively involved from a younger age.

If you want any more information on the event itself, please reach out to Alexandra Braby who can give you more information as she was in attendance of the event, as well as putting you in touch with the organisers of the EFILA Annual Conference should you wish.

The European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration (EFILA) is an independent Brussels-based think tank that serves as a platform for a merit-based discussion on all aspects of European and international investment law, including arbitration. EFILA is a non-profit international association under Belgian law (AISBL).