From Defensive to Assertive: China’s White Paper on Human Rights

On December 12th 2018 the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) published a white paper (WP) titled ‘Progress in Human Rights over the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up in China.’ The paper, which seems to be targeting more foreign audience than a domestic one, reflects upon the progress China has made in the field of human rights since Deng Xiaoping’s liberalization and opening up reforms that began in 1978.

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The Political Economy of Capital Controls and Liberalization

In the face of rising global tensions the free flow of direct investment capital across borders is in dispute. The self-evidence of free capital movements since the start of the euro can no longer be taken for granted. Concerns have emerged about the intentions of foreign investors acquiring domestic key industries.

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Access to Legal Redress in an EU Investment Screening Mechanism

The proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for screening of foreign direct investments into the European Union (Draft Proposal) presupposes (some would even say: proposes) investment screening and control mechanisms (ISCMs) at member state level. Approaching ISCMs from the angle of legal redress raises three questions: […]

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Investment Screening in the Defence Industry – News from the Bermuda Triangle of EU Law

The national investment screening mechanisms for the defence and security sector are the Doyen of the existing screening mechanisms, and their bases in EU secondary and primary law are not so hidden. The discrimination of investors on grounds of nationality have some specific bases in topical EU Regulations or Directives, but most importantly in the […]

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Rebuilding the Berlin Wall?

On 19 December 2018, the German government has passed amendments to the German Foreign Trade and Payments Act (“AWG”) and to the German Foreign Trade and Payment Ordinance (“AWV”) whose compatibility with European law is highly questionable. The structure and scope of investment review provided for under the AWG in conjunction with the AWV is […]

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Avenues in European Company Law to Screen Foreign Direct Investment

Screening of foreign direct investments could take place through European company law. The harmonization of company law in the European Union as well as the CJEU’s case law offer mechanisms which could be used for the screening of foreign direct investments. Although their primary objective is “the protection of the interests of members and others”, […]

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Debate: A Common European Law on Investment Screening?

Volvo Personvagnar AB, Kuka, Aixtron, OSRAM Licht, Daimler, Saxo Bank, the harbour terminal in Zeebrugge, Spain’s Noatum Port, Italy’s Vado Ligure Port or the Port of Piraeus – the list of discussed controversial company takeovers and acquisitions of major stakes in Europe is getting longer and longer. The political will in the European Union (EU) […]

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‘The Place of the Constitution Is Empty’: Chinese Political Aesthetics of Commanding Constitutional Faith

‘The document emblazoned with the Chinese characters the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the constitution in its material form, was gingerly held and escorted by a military guard of honour onto the lectern at the centre of the podium of the Great Hall of the People in the First Session of China’s 13th National People’s Congress on 17 March, 2018.’  This is the snapshot of a video cap about the inauguration of the PRC’s (new/amended) constitution, which was part of the so-called core leadership’s constitutional oath-taking ceremony before the audience of the members of the National People’s Congress for the first time in the PRC history. Watching that video, I cannot help but attempt an aesthetic read of the unsubstantiated Chinese political order in the light of Claude Lefort’s famous ‘empty place’ thesis.

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