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The EU Trade and Investment Policy (EUTIP) Network Conference, The Future of EU Trade and Investment Policy on the 14th January 2021 was co-organised by Professor Gabriel Felbermayr of the ifw (Institute for the World Economy) in Kiel (Germany) and Professor Martin Trybus of the IEL (Institute of European Law) of the University of Birmingham (UK) within the framework and as the Network Conference of the EU Trade and Investment Policy ‘EUTIP’ Marie Curie Innovative Training Network funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

The conference is also the seventh instalment of the Institute of European Law’s The Future of European Law and Policy conference series which started in 2008. It was held online with 104 registered participants from the network as well as universities, think tanks, governments, law firms, lobbyists, the press, and consultancies. 

The Opening Panel was chaired by Professor Gabriel Felbermayr. After a welcome, in which Professor Martin Trybus (University of Birmingham, EUTIP Network Coordinator, IEL Director) provided an overview of the activities of the EUTIP Network over the last four years, two keynotes were delivered. Lucian Cernat (DG Trade, European Commission) delivered a keynote on Key challenges and expectations for EU trade policy in 2021 and beyond and Professor Paola Conconi (Free University of Brussels) on Trade protection along supply chains.

Then the conference continued in parallel sessions. Session 1a The EU and Geonomics was chaired by Jean-Baptiste Velut (University Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris) and consisted of papers by Stephanie Leupold (Head of Unit, Trade Strategy, DG Trade): EU trade strategy in the 2020s,Tobias Gehrke (Egmont, Brussels): EU trade and economic statecraft in the Geoeconomic order, Simon Dekeyrel (University of Nottingham): Pipeline politics: the EU as a geo-economic power?, and Gerard Masllorens (ETH Zürich):  GVC: a network analysis perspective.

Session 1b New Generation FTAs was chaired by Professor Elaine Fahey (City, University of London) and consisted of papers by Frank Hoffmeister (DG Trade, European Commission): Implementation and enforcement of FTAs, Kornilia Pipidi Kalogirou (University of Speyer): Regulatory cooperation in the EU legal order: remarks on substance and form, Sonali Chowdry (Ifw Kiel): Competing in Korea: Firm heterogeneity and anticipation effects from a deep FTA, and  Iulianna Romanchyshyna (University of Passau): Non-tariff measures in EU ‘New Generation FTAs’ – Open, competing, or conflicting regionalism?

Sessions 2a Transatlantic Trade and Labour Rights was chaired by Professor Jeff Kenner (University of Nottingham) and consisted of papers by Professor Axel Marx (Catholic University of Leuven): Pursuing labour rights through EU trade policy: some trends and challenges,Aakriti Bhardwaj (University of Nottingham): Towards better regulatory governance of Transatlantic trade: The case for international labour standards, and Dr Isabella Mancini (City, University of London): Taming regulatory cooperation for the protection of labour rights: the case of CETA.##…

Session 2b The Economics of TBT and SPS was chaired by Professor Imma Martinez (University of Göttingen) and consisted of papers by Jasmin Gröschl (ifo, Munich): Complex Europe: Quantifying the cost of disintegration, Camille Reverdy (CIREM/CEPII, Paris): Trade under TBT uncertainty, and Jorge Soguero (University of Birmingham): Effects of SPS measures in the agricultural sector using structural gravity.

Session 3a Dispute Settlement was chaired by Professor Christoph Herrmann (University of Passau) and consisted of papers by Colin Brown (DG Trade, European Commission): Dispute settlement in contested times, Aveek Chakravarty (University of Turin): Arbitral discretion and calculation of compensation and damages in investor-state dispute settlement, and Cornelia Fuculita (University of Speyer): The EU FTAs and the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanisms: Interacting in times of Appellate Body crisis.

Session 3b Financial services was chaired by Professor Fabian Amtenbrink (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and consisted of papers by Professor Kern Alexander (University of Zürich): Building the Three Pillars of Financial Stability: The ECB's Role, Francesco Pennesi (Erasmus University Rotterdam): The EU equivalence regime in capital markets: A governance mechanism for the post-Brexit management of financial services?, and Nathan de Arriba-Sellier (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Mutual recognition aspects in EU financial market regulation.

The conference concluded with a joint session with concluding remarks by Professor Martin Trybus. The EUTIP Network is coordinated by Professor Martin Trybus – supported by Project Manager Noreen Akhtar - based at the University of Birmingham. It also includes the Universities of Nottingham, City London, Rotterdam, Speyer, Passau, Turin, and ETH Zurich, and the ifw in Kiel, CEPII in Paris, and the Royal Institute of International Relations Egmont in Brussels.

Moreover, a wide range of partner organisations including the George Washington University, the National University of Singapore, or the Universidad Externado de Colombia law, firms such as Nauta Dutilh, Wilmer Hale, and Baker McKenzie, think tanks such as CEPS, SOMO and Bruegel, Asser, and RAND and organisations such as Business Europe, the Energy Community, CEN/CENELEC, or the ITC/ILO contributed to the network-wide training programme and hosted secondments for our Early Stage Researchers.

The objective of the EU Trade and Investment Policy ITN is to foster interdisciplinary research into the evolving international trade policy of the EU with a view to create a significantly increased European knowledge base and research capacity on EU law and policy of the regulation of international trade through free trade agreements. 15 Early State Researchers were based at the 11 beneficiary institutions of EUTIP conducting research as part of PhD projects in law, economics, and political science. Two of these researchers, Alice Manzini and Jorge Soguero were based at the Birmingham Law School. EUTIP started in April 2017 as “TTIP-ITN” with a focus on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership but was recalibrated towards EU Trade and Investment Policy in 2018 when it became clear that TTIP would not proceed under the Trump Administration. It will end on 30 March 2021.

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