The UE-Vietnam Free Trade and Investment Protection Agreements: Legal and Economic Perspectives
Purpose: On 1 August 2020, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement went into force. After completing the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement's ratification, the two agreements will create the legal basis of strong economic relations between the parties. However, we argue that these agreements are an element of a broader strategy, pursuing the EU's economic and socio-political goals. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research is interdisciplinary, economic, and legal. We analyze the process of establishing the legal framework of EU-Vietnam relations and its context in the New Haven School's application schema, combining it with "rational choice." The research was conducted based on public statistics and analysis of the literature on the subject. Findings: The EU pursues a policy of "change through trade." The agreements deepen Vietnam's participation in the universal economic and social system based on the UN Charter's values. They also strengthen the institutionalization of pluralism in relations in the Asia region and institutions and countries outside the region. Practical Implications: EVFTA and EVIPA represent a new approach of the EU to trade agreements and how to influence international relations in a system where the U.S. have lost their status as the only superpower, and China seeks to become a real global superpower. Realizing this change in EU trade policy is important for all Member States and other international relations actors. Originality/Value: The paper discusses important and current issues related to EU trade and investment policies and can develop future policy scenarios.