CHAPTER ONE – Introduction
For a very long time, unrestricted cross-border investments have been seen as a supply of financial prosperity, peace, and stability in Western liberal market economies (Rosecrance & Thompson, 2003, pp. 377-379). Within the final decade, nonetheless, pro-liberal market boards have more and more tightened their International Direct Funding (FDI) screening practices on grounds of safety and public order (Esplugues, 2018, pp. 440-443; Liu, 2020). That is significantly puzzling within the case of the European Union’s FDI Screening Regulation, which is a unprecedented measure given the EU’s mantra of market openness that’s constructed into its liberal id (Svoboda, 2020, p. 2). It’s socially related to grasp what precipitated the introduction of this extraordinary measure that harms the EU’s legitimacy as “probably the most open locations to speculate on the earth” (EC, 2021).
For the reason that official coverage proposal on 13 September 2017, the European Fee’s supporting argumentation relies on the storyline of adjusting international funding patterns that problem the safety of the Union and the Member States. It emphasises the rising function of rising economies – particularly China – as suppliers of FDI and the lowering FDI inventory of conventional funding companions in Europe equivalent to the USA (EC, 2017d, pp. 3-5). Within the grand scheme of issues, nonetheless, this risk appears to be comparatively weak because the US dominated with 35.1% compared to China’s mere 0.9% when it comes to FDI inventory held in Europe in 2017 (Eurostat, 2019). It leads one to query: why Chinese language FDI in Europe is perceived as extra threatening than the cross-border investments of a complicated economic system such because the US.
The prevailing literature explains the introduction of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation by specializing in the fabric pursuits, particularly the US-China Commerce warfare, China’s intensified state capitalism, and the disintegrating forces of Chinese language FDI on the European integration venture (Defraigne, 2017; Paszak, 2017; Bickenbach & Liu, 2018; Roberts et al., 2019; Meunier & Nicolaidis, 2019; Riela & Zámborský, 2020). The overarching declare is that China’s strategic asset-seeking investments impose safety challenges on Europe that led to the EU’s framework to display FDI (Hooijmaaijers, 2019; Schill, 2019; Borowicz, 2020; Svoboda, 2020). These essential findings, nonetheless, don’t make clear the ideational pursuits of the EU which are formed by the ‘China Menace’ discourse. In accordance with Buzan et al., presenting a problem as an existential risk, that’s, securitisation can legitimise a unprecedented measure (1998, p. 26). This analysis venture contributes to the educational debate by attending to the ideational as a substitute of fabric dimension, and by analysing the ‘China Menace’ discourse that probably legitimised the introduction of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation.
The thing of research is the European Fee (Fee) who speaks safety to advocate for the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation because the official coverage proposer. Following a constructivist epistemology, the aim of this thesis is to not assess the validity of the bodily risk, however to grasp the linguistic development of a shared understanding that Chinese language FDI is an existential risk. Due to this fact, this thesis goals to reply the explanatory analysis query: Why did the European Union introduce the extraordinary measure of the Regulation (EU) 2019/452 that establishes a framework for the screening of International Direct Funding into the Union?
Utilizing the securitisation principle of the Copenhagen Faculty (Buzan et al., 1998), I argue that the financial, navy and political securitisation of Chinese language FDI in Europe legitimised the enactment of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation. The discourse evaluation uncovers that the Fee presents the EU Single Market, the competitiveness of EU companies, European employees, the EU’s strategic capabilities and public order, and the EU integration venture as existentially threatened by China’s strategic investments in Europe. It additionally reveals how the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation is introduced because the required instrument for defense. Furthermore, the findings exhibit that the Fee’s arguments to guard the financial competitiveness of EU companies and European employees are linked to navy and political safety arguments. This covers up the protectionist undertone of financial safety arguments, which might be illegitimate in a liberal financial context such because the EU. This can be a helpful contribution to the securitisation literature as a result of it confirms Buzan et al.’s theoretical proposition that securitisation analysts have to contemplate non-economic arguments in financial risk discourse to comprehensively perceive financial securitisation in a liberal financial context (1998, pp. 100-103).
This thesis is structured as follows. Chapter 2 critiques the literature on the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation. Chapter 3 continues with the analytical framework regarding the principle and the methodology. Chapter 4 examines whether or not and the way the Fee securitises Chinese language FDI in Europe. Concluding, chapter 5 solutions the analysis query, displays on the constraints of the evaluation and the implications of the findings, and gives solutions for future analysis.
CHAPTER TWO – State of the Artwork
As chapter 1 has set out the analysis drawback, chapter 2 critiques the present literature that explains the introduction of the Regulation (EU) 2019/452. From a macro-perspective, some students consider the US-China commerce warfare that shifted the worldwide order away from liberal multilateralism, which, in flip, normalised FDI screening practices in liberal market boards (Roberts et al., 2019; Scholvin & Wigell, 2019; Aggarwal & Reddie, 2020; Borowicz, 2020). They put the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation in a single basket with the tightening FDI screening practices of the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan as empirical examples of this phenomenon (Esplugues, 2018; Ishikawa, 2020; Heim & Ribberink, 2021; Santander & Vlassis, 2021). Whereas this macro-perspective considers the beliefs and behavioural expectations that information actor behaviour within the worldwide system, it doesn’t acknowledge the sui generis nature of the EU. The EU isn’t appropriate with a nation-state or a superstate, as a result of it’s a world organisation with state-like options and multi-level governance (Moskvan, 2017, p. 242). Due to this fact, you will need to give attention to the EU case particularly.
The educational debate concerning the causes of the introduction of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation might be divided alongside the strains of the standard IR theories. Making use of a neorealist analytical lens, some students emphasise that China’s strategic investments and intensified state capitalism threaten the financial and navy safety of the EU Member States (Defraigne, 2017; Paszak, 2017; Hooijmaaijers, 2019; Schill, 2019; Riela & Zámborský, 2020; Svoboda, 2020; Lai, 2021). Within the liberal institutionalist line of thought, nonetheless, Chinese language FDI threatens the EU’s political safety (Christiansen & Maher, 2017). Students on this camp counsel that the disaster of the liberal worldwide order and the disintegrating forces of Chinese language direct funding within the EU integration tasks are the explanatory elements (Nicolas, 2014; Meunier, 2014b; Casarini, 2015; Bickenbach & Liu, 2018; Simon, 2020). Nevertheless, Meunier has gone furthest as her early work addresses how Chinese language FDI threatens the EU’s unity relating to the cacophony of nationwide FDI guidelines and the competitors amongst the EU Member States (Meunier, 2014a; Meunier, 2014c; Meunier et al., 2014). Her later work analyses how the hostile public opinion in direction of China within the Member States fostered EU integration on FDI coverage (Meunier, 2019; Chan & Meunier, 2020; Meunier & Mickus, 2020). Meunier and Nicolaidis counsel that the securitisation of Chinese language direct investments in Europe led to the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation (2019, pp. 108-109). Nevertheless, they give attention to a cost-benefit evaluation of financial pursuits that doesn’t present any empirical proof that Chinese language FDI is introduced as an existential risk to the EU’s safety by any actor, which is a spot that this thesis goals to bridge.
Whereas the present research on the Regulation (EU) 2019/452 supply helpful insights on the fabric pursuits of the EU to display FDI, these neglect the ideational pursuits. Their underlying assumption is that the ‘China risk’ to the EU’s navy, financial and political safety is an goal reality. From a social constructivist perspective, nonetheless, the thought of a ‘China risk’ is a social incontrovertible fact that solely exists if actors settle for it as such and act accordingly (Wendt, 1992, pp. 392-395). Whereas the Chinese language FDI inflow in Europe could also be a bodily actuality, it is just given which means as being threatening based mostly on a shared understanding. Due to this fact, you will need to perceive how coverage discourse constitutes such a shared understanding that legitimises the EU’s FDI screening framework.
A variety of research examines the ‘China risk’ discourse by lecturers and politicians within the West typically and within the US particularly (Pan, 2004; Jerdén, 2014; Music, 2015; Peters et al., 2021). Solely Rogelja and Tsimonis (2020), nonetheless, give attention to the EU because the geographical area for his or her analysis on the ‘China risk’ discourse. Utilizing securitisation principle, they unpack how European suppose tanks current Chinese language FDI in Europe as an existential risk to the EU’s political unity, id, and strategic property. Whereas securitisation principle is their theoretical framework, they make use of the post-structuralist as a substitute of the social constructivist method by concentrating on the ability of language and othering practices as a substitute of the normativity hidden within the language (Rogelja and Tsimonis, 2020, pp. 103-105). Furthermore, suppose tanks shouldn’t have the legislative energy of the European Fee, which makes the latter an essential securitising actor that’s nonetheless to be studied. In sum, the hole within the educational literature is a complete evaluation of the Fee’s coverage discourse that securitises Chinese language FDI, which, in flip, legitimises the introduction of the extraordinary measure of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation. The following chapter units out the analytical framework that helps this thesis to bridge this hole.
CHAPTER THREE – Analytical Framework
The Securitisation Concept of the Copenhagen Faculty
This part explains why and the way the securitisation principle of the Copenhagen Faculty in IR helps to reply the analysis query. Securitisation principle allows gaining insights on “who can “do” or “communicate” safety efficiently, on what points, underneath what situations, and with which results” (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 27). It reveals how presenting a problem as an existential risk can legitimise extraordinary measures as pressing options (Balzacq et al., 2016, p. 495). On this thesis, the dependent variable is the introduction of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation, which is a unprecedented measure contemplating the EU’s mantra of market openness. Securitisation principle helps to evaluate, whether or not and the way the Fee securitises Chinese language FDI, which is the explanatory variable.
Securitisation principle is break up into the social constructivist and sociological branches. Each agree that presenting a problem as existentially threatening is a securitising transfer that solely turns into profitable securitisation if the viewers accepts it as such. Nevertheless, the disagreement centres across the conceptualisation of securitisation (Balzacq, 2011, pp. 1-3). The sociological department considers securitisation as an intersubjective apply and analyses the viewers’s response (Balzacq, 2005; Bigo & Tsoukala, 2008; Salter, 2011), whereas the social constructivist department – the Copenhagen Faculty – conceptualises securitisation as speech act, that’s, the performative expression of knowledge, that presents a problem as an existential risk. The analytical focus is on the actor who speaks safety underneath the belief that particular safety rhetoric evokes the logic of survival that, in flip, induces viewers acceptance. The Copenhagen Faculty attends to the socio-political influence of discourse, which is written and spoken communication (Buzan et al., 1998, pp. 24-25; Waever, 2009, p. 22). That is extra applicable for this thesis that concentrates on whether or not and the way the Fee’s securitising speech act legitimises the introduction of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation.
Following the logic of the Copenhagen Faculty, the central ideas are the securitising actor, the referent object, and the safety sector. The securitising actor is the one who speaks safety from a place of authority outlined by social recognition and experience (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 33). On this thesis, the thing of research is the European Fee – represented by its President and the Directorate Common (DG) Commerce within the coverage technique of the Regulation (EU) 2019/452 – that takes upon the function as securitising actor for 2 causes. Firstly, the Fee enjoys the authority because the unique coverage proposer in FDI coverage and the experience of the Fee Providers. Secondly, the Fee proposes the extraordinary measure not like the reactive function of the MEPs and the Council through debate and voting in addition to the opinion-giving function of the advisory committees. They are often seen because the viewers as a result of these reactive actors can affect the decision-making technique of coverage, however they don’t assemble the risk discourse (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 33).
Referent objects are issues that the securitising actor portrays as existentially threatened and in should be protected by the extraordinary measure (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 36). This doesn’t imply a risk to the existence per se, but it surely may also be a risk to the “important high quality of existence” (ibid., p. 21, emphasis added). For instance, strategic acquisitions of European corporations within the high-tech sector can jeopardise the EU’s competitiveness by the outflow of technological know-how, which doesn’t imply the top of its existence however an erosion of its high quality of existence.
Every referent object belongs to a sure safety sector (Buzan et al., 1998, pp. 36-40). The safety sector is an analytical lens that identifies a kind of securitising discourse based mostly on the kind of relationship and interplay between the actors concerned (Floyd, 2019, p. 174). This isn’t to be confused with sectors in financial phrases that point out an space of financial productiveness (p. 177). Impressed by the analytical framework developed by Buzan et al. (1998, pp. 179-188), this thesis has a deductive method and employs 4 safety sectors. Firstly, the financial safety sector attends to arguments regarding finance, commerce, and manufacturing. Within the liberal financial context of the EU, liberal financial securitisation centres on defending the free market (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 7). Due to this fact, the referent object ‘EU Single Market’ compromises the liberal financial guidelines that represent the EU Single Market’s high quality of existence (p. 106). The referent object ‘financial competitiveness’ considerations the place of EU enterprise within the world market and the survival of European firms, while the ‘European employees’ seek advice from the roles and revenue of European residents.
Secondly, the navy safety sector focuses on the arguments about forceful coercion (Buzan et al., 1998, pp. 49-55). On this thesis, the navy referent object ‘strategic capabilities’ compromises the strategic property, vital applied sciences, and infrastructure in Europe, while the ‘public order’ referent object is the conventional functioning of society. Thirdly, the political safety sector focuses on interactions that relate to sovereignty and recognition. Within the EU context, the popularity of the EU integration venture and the sovereignty of Member States might be existentially threatened (Buzan et al., 1998, pp. 145-148). Fourthly, the societal safety sector concentrates on arguments about collective identities. The European social mannequin refers back to the liberal values which are rooted within the EU’s post-war origins and political-legal structure (p. 183). Desk 1 beneath reveals the codebook with the referent objects of every safety sector for the evaluation.
Buzan et al. counsel that the financial safety sector isn’t a stand-alone analytical lens in a liberal financial context (1998, pp. 100-103). Aside from the EU Single Market, financial referent objects shouldn’t have a reputable declare to survival as a result of liberals imagine that financial governance ought to solely defend the free market. Therefore, it’s probably that the securitising actor hyperlinks the financial referent objects to different forms of referent objects in order that intellectually incoherent arguments are prevented (p. 106). For instance, the securitising actor could argue that the EU’s financial competitiveness within the high-tech sector must be protected as a result of it should additionally safe Europe’s vital applied sciences. The Copenhagen Faculty means that solely taking a look at financial arguments isn’t adequate to comprehensively perceive financial securitisation in a liberal financial context (p. 116). The following part builds additional on this theoretical proposition.
The motivation to look at the single-case examine of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation is twofold. Empirically, it’s a distinctive case of the phenomenon of tightening FDI screening practices in liberal market boards over the past decade. The EU is a world organisation with state-like options (Moskvan, 2017, p. 242), which is incompatible with nationwide governments. Theoretically, the securitisation of Chinese language FDI in Europe is a most definitely case, which exams the validity of the Copenhagen Faculty’s theoretical proposition on financial securitisation (Buzan et al., 1998, pp. 100-103). That is questioned by Floyd, who makes use of an action-based method to securitisation with process-tracing because the analysis technique (2016, p. 688; 2019, p. 180). Nevertheless, the Copenhagen Faculty’s analytical framework based mostly on discourse evaluation is extra applicable for this analysis venture that analyses coverage discourse as a substitute of its actions, therefore, it exams the validity of the theoretical proposition.
Written and verbal knowledge have been used within the evaluation. I collected twenty-four written paperwork compromising the Fee’s coverage proposal, Fee Communications (CC), Workers Working Paperwork (SWD), and press statements. The collection of various kinds of paperwork enhances the validity of the evaluation. Salter warns that analyzing one sort of knowledge or doc in a securitisation evaluation is over simplistic and fails to comprehensively hint securitisation (2011, p. 117). The dataset doesn’t embrace any assembly minutes of the Fee representatives throughout the trialogue part of the Regulation (EU) 2019/452. This casual assembly interval is behind closed doorways, thus, such knowledge isn’t accessible. However, I triangulated the written knowledge with verbal knowledge, particularly speeches held by the Fee President and the DG Commerce representatives on the European Parliament. Due to this fact, the dataset sufficiently represents the Fee’s coverage discourse on the ‘China risk’ and FDI screening. To reinforce the transparency of the evaluation and the reliability of the findings, Desk 1 within the Appendix reveals an outline of the dataset.
The first knowledge was collected through on-line analysis within the databases of the European Fee Paperwork Archive, EUR-Lex, and the European Parliament Multimedia Centre in April and Could 2021. The EU’s declare to be clear results in the web publication of all press statements, formal communication, public hearings, and the EP debate (Watson, 2012, p. 283). This enabled entry to all genuine knowledge required for the evaluation, and thus no copies or solid paperwork have been analysed. I used the next key search phrases: “FDI screening”, “direct funding screening”, “screening international investments”, “international direct funding”, “strategic funding”, “Chinese language funding”, “FDI Regulation” and “China technique”. The timeframe of the dataset begins with the Chinese language FDI peak in Europe in 2016 and ends in 2020, when the Regulation (EU) 2019/452 turned absolutely operational.
Methodology – Discourse Evaluation
The conceptualisation of securitisation as speech act is inextricably sure up with discourse evaluation because the analysis technique. Discourse evaluation attracts consideration to the co-constitutive relationship between language and societal norms that inform the pursuits and behavior of actors. The analytical focus isn’t on the intention or motives of the speaker, however on the socio-political influence of 1’s speech act (Stoffers, 2021, p. 14). This analysis venture goals to uncover how talking safety legitimises a unprecedented measure, a socio-political influence of speech act, thus, discourse evaluation is essentially the most applicable technique. As discourse evaluation is interpretative (Hardy et al., 2004, p. 21), I coded the first knowledge with the software program programme ATLAS.ti to carry out the evaluation rigorously and systematically. Furthermore, ATLAS.ti allows the web sharing of analytical decisions, empirical findings, and analysis notes, which boosts the transparency and reliability of this analysis venture.
To operationalise securitisation, the Copenhagen Faculty argues that the indicator of securitisation is when a problem is introduced as an existential risk. Therefore, the criterion is that the speech act should illustrate which designated referent objects will probably be misplaced if the extraordinary measure isn’t enacted (Buzan et al., 1998, pp. 29-32). Waever stresses that solely an existential risk, not only a risk, induces a way of urgency and necessity – the logic of survival – of the viewers that legitimises the extraordinary measure (2009, p. 22). The inducement of such logic is the so-called actuality impact, which is how the social actuality of the viewers is formed by the securitising actor. Along with the socio-historical context, one should think about rhetorical mechanisms, equivalent to figures of speech, binary distinctions, the precise use of pronouns, the repetition of phrases, and the storyline within the discourse that each one collectively form the viewers’s worldview. Binary distinctions create a division between the protagonist, the main character, and the antagonist, who works towards the pursuits of the protagonist based mostly on essentialist language (Stoffers, 2021, pp. 17-20). The following chapter applies this operationalisation of the securitisation principle of the Copenhagen Faculty to clarify the introduction of the extraordinary measure of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation.
CHAPTER FOUR – Findings and Dialogue
Having established the idea and methodology in chapter 3, it should now be attainable to use the analytical framework in chapter 4. On this discourse evaluation, you will need to think about the variations within the securitising speech act throughout completely different codecs of linguistic expression (Stoffers, 2021, p. 12). Determine 1 beneath reveals an outline of the securitisation of Chinese language FDI within the Fee’s discourse on the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation for every speech act format within the dataset.
The financial securitisation of Chinese language FDI reveals dominance within the Fee’s reviews, particularly the Fee Communications and Workers Working Paperwork. This format is suitable for financial safety arguments contemplating the size of those reviews, which permits for deliberate securitising discourse with graphs and statistics that set up an financial undertone. The navy securitisation of Chinese language FDI reigns supreme within the coverage proposal and the press statements, which might be defined by the previous’s authorized context and the latter’s stress of public opinion. Because the EU’s open market mantra is constructed into its political-legal structure (Manners, 2002, p. 240), Bickenbach and Liu counsel that European policymakers and the general public would solely understand the EU’s framework to display FDI as reputable whether it is based mostly on navy safety arguments (2018, p. 19). Political securitisation appears to be essential within the Fee’s speeches, particularly the general public hearings, the EP debate, and the State of the Union in 2017. A proof is that the format of political speeches permits for extra emotional language and rhetorical mechanisms to precise a sentiment of EU unity greater than the opposite codecs. Whereas solely the societal securitisation of Chinese language FDI proves to be irrelevant, this appears to be outweighed by the opposite types of securitisation. In sum, Determine 1 illustrates the prevalence of the financial, navy, and political securitisation of Chinese language FDI throughout all paperwork and speeches. The variations throughout discourse codecs could counsel that the Fee considers which sort of safety rhetoric is extra applicable through which linguistic setting to legitimise the extraordinary measure of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation.
The rest of chapter 4 compromises 4 sections that systematically analyse whether or not and the way every sort of securitisation is current within the securitising actor’s discourse on the extraordinary measure. Every part considers the ‘China risk’ discourse, the relevance of the referent objects, and, if there are any, their discursive hyperlink to different safety sectors. The latter is especially essential for the financial safety sector evaluation as a result of it should affirm or reject Buzan et al.’s theoretical proposition (1998, pp. 100-103).
The Fee’s financial risk discourse relies on the storyline concerning the altering international funding patterns that problem the EU’s safety. The ‘China risk’ thought is constructed by the binary distinction between the EU’s conventional funding companions – allies of the EU Single Market – and its rising funding companions who’re introduced as strategic and never compliant with the EU’s financial rulebook (EC, 2017a, p. 15; EC, 2017d, pp. 3-5; EC, 2017e, p. 6). In a public listening to on 23 January 2018, for instance, Commerce Commissioner Cecilia Malmström states:
Historically, our funding companions have been nations with comparable financial values as ours: utilizing the identical rulebook. Nevertheless, world markets have modified and there are new highly effective gamers rising who don’t at all times have the identical requirements, not at all times have the identical guidelines, and who don’t at all times play honest […] That is the background that we have to have after we discuss concerning the Fee’s proposal on funding screening. (Malmström, 2018, January 23, 14:36:08).
The emphasis on taking part in honest through a rulebook and the tricolon of requirements underline the concept that the unfair funding practices of rising gamers are incompatible with the EU’s financial rulebook. In accordance with Buzan et al., something that unglues the liberal financial guidelines constituting the EU Single Market is an existential risk to this financial referent object (1998, p. 106). Therefore, the thought of rising highly effective gamers who don’t adjust to the EU’s market guidelines is an existential risk to the EU Single Market. A better have a look at the SWDs and the CCs, through which financial securitisation is the dominant safety rhetoric, reveals that China is repeatedly singled out as the first instance of this existential risk to the EU Single Market. The DG Commerce makes separate graphs for Chinese language FDI and persistently repeats the phrase teams “China, for example” (EC, 2017e, p. 3), “traders like China” (ECHR, 2019, p. 27), “with China standing out” (EC, 2019, p. 2). Taking all these discursive components under consideration uncovers the normative affiliation between Chinese language direct investments in Europe and unfair funding practices that existentially threaten the EU Single Market.
Nevertheless, a profitable occasion of securitisation isn’t full with out presenting the extraordinary measure because the required coverage answer (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 32). The Fee presents the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation as a coverage instrument “to revive a degree taking part in subject” (EC, 2017a, p. 15), to “make sure that everybody performs by the identical guidelines” (EC, 2017b, p. 2), while “adapting to a brand new world setting” (Malmström, 2018, January 23, 14:42:45). In different phrases, the Regulation would defend ideas that assure the standard of existence of the EU Single Market. Due to this fact, it may be argued that the financial securitisation of Chinese language FDI relating to the EU Single Market is current within the Fee’s discourse.
Arguments for safeguarding the EU Single Market will not be protectionist in a liberal financial context as a result of these defend liberal financial guidelines. To check the theoretical proposition of Buzan et al. (1998, pp. 100-103), one should give attention to different financial referent objects. Right here, the Fee hyperlinks the decision to guard the financial competitiveness of EU enterprise, or “the EU’s technological edge” (EC, 2017d, p. 5; EC, 2017e, p. 6), to the navy referent objects. The Fee argues that predatory international acquisitions in Europe’s high-tech sector will not be solely detrimental to the EU’s technological edge but additionally to its strategic capabilities, particularly vital applied sciences (EC, 2017d, p. 5; EC, 2019, p. 67). Furthermore, the Fee underlines that unfair funding practices endanger the survival of European firms that, in flip, will trigger monetary instability that harms the general public order inside the Union (ECHR, 2019, p. 4; EC, 2020b, p. 5). This risk description matches the best way the Fee portrays China within the Fee Communications on the EU’s technique on China. The securitising actor warns towards China’s strategic and unfair funding practices in cutting-edge sectors, most notably the EU’s high-tech sector (ECHR, 2019, pp. 8-10), to create “nationwide champions capable of compete globally” (ECHR, 2016, p. 6). In the meantime, it presents the Regulation (EU) 2019/452 as a instrument to cease China’s unfair state-subsidised investments in Europe (ECHR, 2019, p. 11). Due to this fact, the Fee establishes the financial securitisation of Chinese language FDI relating to the EU’s technological edge based mostly on navy safety arguments. This type of military-economic securitisation confirms the theoretical proposition.
One other discursive hyperlink was discovered between the financial referent object ‘European employees’ and the political referent object ‘EU integration venture’. Towards the background of the ‘China risk’ discourse, the Fee presents the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation as a instrument to guard EU tasks which are a supply of jobs, which serves the EU’s wider function of defending European employees (EC, 2017b, p. 3, p. 18). This type of political-economic securitisation was comparatively weak as solely two situations of it have been discovered, but it surely nonetheless confirms the theoretical proposition by Buzan et al. that the financial safety sector isn’t a stand-alone analytical lens in a liberal financial context (1998, pp. 100-103). In sum, the discursive hyperlinks between the financial, navy, and political referent objects create a way of cross-securitisation that provides one other layer to the Fee’s existential risk discourse. This enhances the legitimacy of the introduction of the extraordinary measure.
The Fee’s navy ‘China risk’ discourse builds additional on the binary distinction between the EU’s conventional and rising funding companions, as defined within the above-mentioned part. Nevertheless, it juxtaposes the market-oriented pursuits of the EU with the strategic pursuits of the rising powers. An essential discovering in all paperwork and speeches is that international State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are introduced because the antagonist – the actor working towards the strategic pursuits of the EU – within the storyline concerning the altering international funding patterns. Within the context of proposing the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation, studying between the strains reveals that China performs the function of the antagonist:
Previously two years, as Mr. Lange mentioned, there was an increase within the buying of strategic property within the European Union by non-EU traders. A big variety of these are state-owned enterprises. Some are subsidised or backed by international governments. And sometimes, these nations have main funding limitations in place (Malmström, 2018, January 23, 14:36:01).
State-owned Enterprises undertake a big share of outward international direct funding, in some instances as a part of a declared authorities technique. […] On this context, there’s a danger that in particular person instances international traders could search to amass management of or affect in European undertakings whose actions have repercussions on vital applied sciences, infrastructure, inputs, or delicate data (EC, 2017d, p. 5).
These passages implicitly seek advice from Chinese language FDI, given the socio-historical context. The shortage of market reciprocity within the Sino-EU funding relations and the Chinese language FDI peak in Europe in 2016, two years earlier, sparked the political debate concerning the EU-wide FDI screening (Simon, 2020, pp. 44-45). One other reference to China is the mentioning of strategic FDI in Europe by SOEs as a part of a declared authorities technique. The notorious Belt and Highway Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Funding Financial institution are infrastructure growth methods declared by the Chinese language authorities in 2013 and 2015 respectively, through which FDI and SOEs are essential components (Meunier & Nicolaidis, 2019, p. 107). Due to this fact, the securitising actor implicitly portrays China as threatening Europe’s strategic capabilities.
These implicit ‘China risk’ expressions turned extra express because the legislative technique of Regulation (EU) 2019/452 progressed. To compensate for the non-publication of an influence evaluation, the Fee revealed an SWD in 2019 on the event of FDI flows in Europe (Grieger, 2019, p. 6). On this doc, Chinese language FDI is linguistically singled out as the first instance of the rise in international SOEs that strategically put money into Europe’s high-tech sector, e.g., “with China standing out when it comes to acquisitions” (EC, 2019, p. 1). Its publication date is the day after the submission of the Joint Communication by the Fee and the Excessive Consultant on 12 March 2019, which warns towards the strategic investments of Chinese language SOEs and requires the swift implementation of the Regulation (EU) 2019/452 (ECHR, 2019, pp. 8-10). Later, in a public listening to on 30 September 2019, Commerce Commissioner-designate Phill Hogan refers to this Joint Communication after stating that “we share a typical understanding of the safety challenges imposed by China’s subsidies and the heavy involvement of the state in its economic system” (Hogan, 2019, September 30, 18:50:48). The declare to share a typical understanding is an evidentiality that presents the thought of a ‘China risk’ as widespread sense with out offering proof. Whether or not this risk is actual or not, this quote reveals the normativity hidden within the Fee’s ‘China risk’ discourse. These intertextual references and the express ‘China risk’ discourse represent the fact impact of perceiving Chinese language FDI because the paragon of state-controlled international investments that existentially threaten Europe’s strategic capabilities.
There are two linguistic methods that the Fee makes use of to current the navy referent objects as existentially threatened, which deserve consideration. Firstly, it makes use of the metaphor “naïve free merchants”, which was coined by Fee President Jean-Claude Junker to emphasize that Europeans don’t sufficiently think about the true strategic motives of the antagonist (Rogelja & Tsimonis, 2020, p. 110). In his State of the Union Handle, Junker emphasises that “we aren’t naïve free merchants. Europe should at all times defend its strategic pursuits. For this reason, right now, we’re proposing a brand new EU framework for funding screening” (2017, September 13). Not surprisingly, the DG Commerce additionally makes use of this metaphor in a press assertion (EC, 2018, November 20), and in a public listening to as Commissioner Malmström emphasises that “we will not be naïve” (Malmström, 2018, January 23, 14:35:34). This determine of speech is a hypothetical state of affairs through which “the predatory shopping for of strategic property by international traders” (EC, 2020, p. 5), most notably China, occurs proper underneath the eyes of the EU, if it doesn’t display FDI. Due to this fact, this metaphor induces the logic of survival that, in flip, achieves the navy securitisation of Chinese language FDI.
The second linguistic technique is the precise use of the adjectives ‘vital’ and ‘important’ to stress the existential risk. It was discovered within the official coverage proposal (EC, 2017b), the press statements (EC, 2017, September 14; EC, 2018, November 20), the reviews (EC, 2017b, p. 5; EC, 2017c, pp. 5-6), and the general public hearings. Within the public listening to on 30 September 2019, for instance, the Commerce Commissioner-designate Hogan argues:
We additionally have to strengthen the safety of our vital infrastructure and our technological base, as outlined within the March 2019 Communication on China […], beefing up this specific screening mechanism is important if we need to defend our vital applied sciences and our vital infrastructure (Hogan, 2019, September 30, 18:52:08).
Whereas the quote reiterates the normative affiliation between Chinese language FDI and safety threatening FDI, the emphasised passages current the vital applied sciences and infrastructure as misplaced if the FDI screening mechanism isn’t carried out. The rhetorical speculation – we have to strengthen the safety, which is important if we need to defend the strategic capabilities – urges the viewers to behave in a means that will guarantee such safety, on this case, the implementation of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation. This existential risk state of affairs induces the logic of survival that’s integral to profitable securitisation (Waever, 2009, p. 22). The identical linguistic technique is used to current the general public order within the Union as existentially threatened as a result of it’s sure to the EU’s strategic capabilities. The mentioning of the latter persistently precedes the previous, e.g., “the acquisition of European firms that develop applied sciences or keep infrastructures which are important to carry out vital features in society and the economic system” (EC, 2017b, p. 10). Public order is the power to carry out vital features in society. Whereas navy securitisation based mostly on the general public order doesn’t happen independently, it provides one other layer to the Fee’s risk discourse.
The findings counsel that Europe’s strategic capabilities play the starring function within the Fee’s safety rhetoric, as it’s the most often talked about of all referent objects throughout all paperwork. On condition that the political-legal structure of the EU is anti-protectionist and anti-discriminatory, the navy safety arguments are most applicable in legitimising the extraordinary measure in a legislative context (Bickenbach & Liu, 2018, p. 19). This helps to clarify why the strategic capabilities within the EU will not be solely essential within the navy securitisation of Chinese language but additionally within the financial and political safety rhetoric, which is elaborated on in sections earlier than and after.
The Fee’s political ‘China risk’ discourse is just like the navy variant because it centres across the thought of accelerating Chinese language direct investments that purchase Europe’s strategic capabilities, which, in flip, are detrimental to the EU integration venture. Consequently, the political securitisation of Chinese language FDI is intertwined with the navy safety argument to guard the EU’s strategic property. As Determine 1 reveals, political securitisation is essential if not dominant within the speeches, as President Junker’s State of the Union is illustrative of the political risk discourse:
Immediately we’re proposing a brand new EU framework for funding screening […] If a international, state-owned, firm needs to buy a European harbour, a part of our vitality infrastructure or a defence know-how agency, this could solely occur in transparency, with scrutiny and debate. It’s a political accountability to know what’s going on in our personal yard in order that we will defend our collective safety if wanted (Junker, 2017, September 13).
The quote’s risk discourse turns into political by the emphasis on the EU because the protagonist within the storyline. Not surprisingly, the evaluation discovered that each one situations of the political securitisation of Chinese language FDI are based mostly on the EU integration venture, not the sovereignty of Member States. Right here, President Junker emphasises that it’s a political accountability to guard these strategic property, with a particular use of the pronouns ‘we’ and ‘our’. To state ‘our personal’ is redundant as a result of ‘our’ already signifies a type of possession. This linguistic development fosters a relationship between the speaker and the viewers that, in flip, enhances the sentiment of being a Union of Europeans that’s to be protected. The mentioning of “our personal yard” refers to Greece given its geographical location that isn’t within the coronary heart of Europe however on the southern border of the Union, that’s, the yard of the EU. With a navy undertone, the emphasised passages a few international SOE buying a European harbour implicitly seek advice from the infamous purchases of enormous stakes within the Greek Piraeus Port by the Chinese language transport group COSCO in 2008 and 2016. As COSCO is a former SOE with ties to the Chinese language authorities, this funding deal has been perceived for example of China’s ‘divide and conquer’ funding technique in Europe that disintegrates the EU (Meunier, 2014c; Rogelja & Tsimonis, 2020, p. 116). Previously decade, Greece adopted a extra lenient diplomacy method in direction of China than different Member States due to its financial dependence on Chinese language FDI, which is seen as detrimental to the EU’s inner unity (Meunier, 2019, p. 21; Chan & Meunier, 2020, p. 22). Equally, Commissioner Malmström implicitly refers back to the Sino-Greek funding relations as she states within the public listening to on 23 January 2018:
There’s a Chinese language proverb saying that the most effective time to plant a tree was twenty years in the past, however the second-best time is now. So, public order and safety isn’t about being proper sooner or later. It’s about being proper on a regular basis from day one […] The way forward for our Union will depend on how we put together for the longer term […] We have to safe the foundations of the European Union […] As I began with a Chinese language proverb, I’ll finish with a Greek one, saying that: “a society grows nice when outdated males plant bushes whose shade they know they shall by no means sit in”. On this case, issues are extra pressing than it’d counsel within the proverb” (Malmström, 2018, January 23, 14:34:20).
The phrases ‘pressing’, ‘the most effective time is now’ and ‘have to safe’ create a way of urgency that fosters the thought of being existentially threatened. The emphasised passages specific that the longer term and the inspiration of the EU will lose their high quality of existence if the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation isn’t carried out, which meets the precise standards of a profitable occasion of securitisation (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 26). The Chinese language and Greek proverbs don’t solely foster a way of urgency, however the very mentioning of them additionally implicitly refers back to the quickly rising Sino-Greek funding relations that have been a problem of concern within the wider public debate about Chinese language FDI in Europe (Rogelja & Tsimonis, p. 120). The truth impact of those discursive components is the concept that Chinese language FDI existentially threatens the EU integration venture, with a specific give attention to China’s alleged technique to woo Greece to its aspect with FDI.
In the meantime, the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation is persistently introduced as a mechanism “to cooperate and trade data on investments from third nations” (EC, 2018, November 20; EC, 2019, February 12). This describes the coverage instrument as a instrument to counter the disintegrating influence of hostile FDI in Europe. Furthermore, the Fee presents the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation as a instrument to guard “tasks and programmes which serve the Union as entire” (EC, 2017a, p. 18), “our Union” (Junker, 2017, September 13), “venture or programmes of Union pursuits” (EC, 2017b, p. 20), and “tasks of the Union’s curiosity, like Galileo or Horizon 2020, basic for our future” (Malmström, 2019, February 13; 18:51:32). It turns into clear that the Fee’s discourse establishes the political securitisation of Chinese language FDI relating to the EU integration venture, which legitimises the introduction of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation.
The societal safety sector focuses on arguments about collective identities (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 7). Right here, the Fee juxtaposes the EU because the promoter of liberal democracy (Junker, 2017, September 13), with China as an authoritarian “one-party system with a state-dominated mannequin of capitalism” (ECHR, 2016, p. 17). Nevertheless, there was just one occasion of societal securitisation within the March 2019 Communication on the EU’s China Technique. The Fee states that the European social mannequin will probably be misplaced if the EU doesn’t adapt to the altering funding setting and strengthen its home insurance policies with the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation (ECHR, 2019, pp. 2-6, p. 17). Therefore, the societal securitisation of Chinese language FDI is comparatively weak. A proof is that brazenly securitising Chinese language traders based mostly on collective identities would contradict the Fee’s declare that the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation is non-discriminatory (EC, 2017b, p. 3). However, Determine 1 reveals that the opposite types of securitisation outweigh the just about absent societal safety rhetoric and legitimise the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation.
CHAPTER FIVE – Conclusion
The introduction of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation isn’t solely extraordinary but additionally dangerous to its legitimacy, because the open market mantra is constructed into its liberal id. This thesis aimed to reply why the EU launched this extraordinary measure. Presenting a problem as an existential risk – securitisation – can legitimise a unprecedented measure (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 26), therefore, discourse evaluation was carried out on the Fee’s paperwork and speeches concerning the Regulation (EU) 2019/452 from 2016 to 2020. Utilizing the securitisation principle of the Copenhagen Faculty, this thesis uncovered the securitisation of Chinese language FDI within the Fee’s coverage discourse on the proposal for establishing a framework for the screening of FDI into the Union. It reveals that the thought of a ‘China risk’ relies on a binary distinction between the EU because the market-oriented protagonist and China because the strategic antagonist. Towards this background, financial, navy, and political securitisation have been prevalent within the Fee’s discourse, with every exhibiting dominance in a discourse format that’s applicable for his or her designated type of talking safety. This may occasionally counsel that the Fee considers when to talk which sort of safety rhetoric. Solely societal securitisation proved to be irrelevant, however it’s outweighed by the opposite types of securitisation.
The findings present that the political securitisation of Chinese language FDI presents the EU integration venture as existentially threatened by the strategic asset-seeking investments from China. It’s based mostly on the identical risk discourse because the navy variant. The navy securitisation of Chinese language direct investments centres across the thought of China’s predatory shopping for of Europe’s strategic capabilities through its SOEs, which, in flip, is detrimental to the general public order within the EU. In the meantime, the financial securitisation of Chinese language FDI relies on the thought of Chinese language traders who don’t adjust to the EU’s financial rulebook, which existentially threatens the EU Single Market, the EU’s financial competitiveness and European employees. To keep away from protectionist arguments that will be illegitimate within the liberal financial context of the EU, the Fee discursively linked the decision to guard the financial competitiveness, and European employees to arguments for safeguarding the strategic capabilities, the general public order, and the EU integration venture. The theoretical implication of this specific discovering is that this thesis confirms the suggestion by Buzan et al. that securitisation analysts should embrace different safety sectors to comprehensively perceive situations of financial securitisation in a liberal financial context (1998, pp. 100-103). In abstract, it may be argued that the Fee implicitly and explicitly expressed the concept that Chinese language FDI in Europe existentially threatens the EU’s safety, which, in flip, legitimised the introduction of the extraordinary measure of the Regulation (EU) 2019/452.
The danger of utilizing discourse evaluation because the analysis technique is that the evaluation is interpretative and will develop into normative (Hardy et al., 2004, p. 21). Nevertheless, the usage of a codebook and the software program programme ATLAS.ti that enables for sharing the analytical notes aimed to ascertain an empirically legitimate and dependable examine. Moreover, utilizing the securitisation principle of the Copenhagen Faculty didn’t enable for analysing the response of the MEPs to the Fee’s securitising speech act within the EP debate and the general public hearings. For these eager about finding out the response of the viewers, a suggestion for future analysis is to make use of the sociological securitisation principle developed by Balzacq (2011) and Salter (2011). Appropriate analysis strategies are course of tracing, ethnographic analysis, and content material evaluation to grasp the socio-cultural context that enabled the MEPs’ acceptance of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation (Balzacq et al., 2016, p. 519).
However, this analysis venture completed to disclose the Fee’s implicit and express ‘China risk’ discourse on FDI screening. Given the authority of the securitising actor, the broader societal implication is that the Fee feeds into the development of a shared understanding that Chinese language investments will not be an financial alternative however a safety risk. The sensation of urgency to display FDI has been carried on by the so-called geopolitical Fee underneath President Ursula von der Leyen. On 17 June 2020, it proposed a basic market scrutiny instrument that addresses the market-distorting results of international subsidised investments, most notably from China, by funding screening (EC, 2020c, pp. 4-5). Whereas this Fee proposal requires the safety of honest competitors, the joint letter of Germany, France, and Italy requesting EU-wide FDI screening that preceded the Regulation (EU) 2019/452 was rejected by smaller Member States for the very same argumentation (Simon, 2020, pp. 45-48). Since this thesis doesn’t supply a proof on this challenge, it could be that framing Chinese language FDI as an existential risk is essential within the Fee’s agenda-setting practices. Analysis on the coverage entrepreneurship of the Fee relating to the framing of the Chinese language FDI could present additional insights into this matter.
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