Since the Lisbon Treaty brought under the EU common commercial policy the matter of foreign direct investment in 2009, the EU has been negotiating with third countries rules on investment protection and liberalisation.
These also include a mechanism allowing investors to bring before independent tribunals claims against States for breaches of the agreements.
Since 2015 the European Commission has been working to establish a Multilateral Investment Court.
There are currently 3,000 bilateral investment treaties in force globally, more than 1,400 of which are concluded by EU Member States.
The vast majority include a dispute settlement mechanism for investors. EU investors are the most frequent users of these mechanisms worldwide.