The Age of Open Strategic Autonomy

11-13 May 2023

On-site | Berlin


Hosted by Jonas Fechter and Janosch Wiesenthal

150 CELIS colour no backgr


CELIS NOW is the CELIS Institute's most ambitious initiative to promote young talents with a focus on the law and practice of economic warfare.

In response to global power shifts, the European Union has recently added a set of geo-economic instruments, such as the FDI Screening Regulation, the Regulation on Distortive Foreign Subsidies, the new Dual-Use Regulation, and the Anti-Coercion Instrument, to its toolbox for “economic warfare”.

In light with the CELIS Institute’s mission to promote better regulation of foreign investments in the context of security, public order, and competitiveness; and along with its commitment to the promotion of researchers and practitioners at the early stages of their career, the Institute's Deputy Assistant Directors created an early-career scholars’ and practitioners’ network on the law and practice of economic warfare (CELIS NOW) .

CELIS NOW is designed for early-career professionals with a focus on the emerging law of economic warfare within the broader fields of European and international trade and investment law. The network provides its members with the unique opportunities to exchange ideas and to engage with the growing community of scholars and practitioners interested in the law of economic warfare and active in the broader field of trade and investment law.

The network consists of currently around 15 accomplished young researchers and practitioners from various disciplines. It serves its members as a forum to think outside the box and engage across disciplines. In meetings, members have the chance to discuss their latest ideas and research among peers. Members will also have a unique opportunity to engage with accomplished researchers and practitioners in the field.


You are interested in becoming part of our initiative? You think that CELIS NOW could be a good fit for you or your friends? This is how you become part of the network:

Although, participation is on invitation only basis, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, as well as accomplished early-career practitioners with an interest in the field of economic warfare are welcome to express their interest. The expression of interest should include a short description of your current research or work focus (no longer than two pages) and your motivation for joining CELIS NOW, as well as a CV. Please submit your supporting documents by mail to: CELIS-NOW@celis.institute

With geopolitical forces shifting in the world, the European Union – once a haven of economic liberalism – reacted by adapting its economic strategy. It has recently introduced several policy instruments designed to support geo-economic objectives in a more contested world.

The conference will focus on the European Unions toolbox within the emerging doctrine of “Open Strategic Autonomy” and discuss its implications for trade and investment law in a broader sense. In particular, investment screening mechanisms and new geo-economic tools, such as the Anti-Coercion Instrument and the Foreign Subsidies Regulation will be discussed.

Participation in the conference is by invitation only, with preference for members of the network. 


27 APRIL 2023

BLOMSTEIN at Soho House Berlin
Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin




14.00 – 14.30 CEST    Opening Remarks
                                   by Jonas Fechter (University of Münster) and Janosch Wiesenthal (University of Passau)

14.30 – 15.00 CEST    Opening Keynote Address
                                    by David Krappitz and Friederike Wenkel (Investment Screening Division, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action)

15.00 – 15.30 CEST    First Experiences with the Cooperation Mechanism under the FDI Screening Regulation 
                                    by Célia Chausse (Deputy Head of Department, Investment Screening Division of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Economy and Labour)

15.30 – 16.00 CEST    Networking and Refreshment Break

16.00 – 17.30 CEST     Session I: The Doctrine of Open Strategic Autonomy – A Closer Look at the Characteristics and Relations

                                      Chair:        Assistant Prof. Dr. Lena Hornkohl (University of Vienna)

                                      Open Strategic Autonomy as the Economic Security Doctrine of the EU

                                      Speaker:    Wolf Zwartkruis (University of Leiden)

                                      The defensive and proactive dimensions of open strategic autonomy: Towards strengthened EU public economic intervention?

                                      Speaker:    Enrico Tinti (University of Bologna)

                                      The role of the EU and Member States in pursuing Open Strategic Autonomy

                                      Speaker:    Thijs De Cuyper (University of Leuven)

                                      The 'Strategy' of an 'Open Economy': Doctrinal Innovation v. Fastidious Protectionism

                                      Speaker:    Argha Kumar Jena (UNINETTUNO University Rome)

                                      Red flags and anti-corruption due diligence in investment arbitration and beyond

                                      Speaker:    Aleksander Kalisz (King’s College London)




18.00 CEST                Drinks Reception and Barbecue at Blomstein (Rooftop Terrace)
                                    Oranienburger Straße 66, 10117 Berlin courtesy of BLOMSTEIN

Potsdamer Platz 1, 10785 Berlin


9.00 – 9.10 CEST    A Message from the CELIS Institute's Board of Directors

                                    Speakers:     Jens Hillebrand Pohl  (CELIS Institute),
                                                        Assistant Prof. Dr. Lena Hornkohl (University of Vienna) and 
                                                       Prof. Dr. Steffen Hindelang (CELIS Institute)

9.10 – 10.30 CEST    Session II: Foreign Investment Screening – Current Trends and Perspectives

                                    Chair:            Prof. Dr. Steffen Hindelang (CELIS Institute)

                                    Gun Jumping” and Foreign Investment Control – Terra incognita or Merger Control 2.0?  

                                    Speakers:     Sophie Bohnert (Wirtchaftsuniversität Wien) and
                                                        Daniel Peter Schmidt (Wirtchaftsuniversität Wien)

                                    FDI regimes and geo-political challenges beyond the European Union: Overview, Perspectives & Future Trends of national(?) security concerns

                                    Speaker:    Federica Marconi (Uniroma 2)

                                    Open Strategic Autonomy, Foreign Investment Security & Europe’s Periphery

                                    Speaker:    Manu Misra (Getulio Vargas Foundation)


                                    Speaker:    Janosch Wiesenthal (University of Passau)

10.30 – 11.00 CEST    Networking and Refreshment Break

11:00 – 12:30 CEST   Session III: The Toolbox of Foreign Trade – A practical Perspective

                                    Chair:            Jonas Fechter (University of Münster)

                                    M&A Transactions, FDI Screening and the challenges of timing and information collection

                                    Speaker:      Stephan Müller (Oppenhoff)

                                    Legal Redress in Investment Screening Procedures [working title]

                                    Speaker:       Dr. Uwe Salaschek (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) 

                                    National Security Concerns Related to Foreign Investment in Critical Infrastructures, as Exemplified by the Transport Sector

                                    Speaker:       Dr. Leonhard von Rummel (BLOMSTEIN) 

                                    Investment Screening in France [working title]

                                    Speaker:     Pierre Voegeli (Investment Screening Division of the French Ministry for Finance, Economy and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty)

12.45 – 13.45 CEST   Lunch at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
                                  courtesy of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

14:00 – 15:30 CEST   Session IV: Open Strategic Autonomy – What else than FDI Screening?

                                    Chair:         Merit Olthoff (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)

                                    The EU’s open strategic autonomy: what role for EU sanctions law?

                                    Speaker:    Georgia Tzifa (Wilmer Hale Brussels)

                                    The Foreign Subsidies Regulation – An instrument to create a resilient economy or protectionism?

                                    Speaker:    Ramona Ader (BLOMSTEIN)

                                    Concordia discors? A preliminary assessment of the coherence between the Foreign Subsidies Regulation and Subsidization in Europe

                                    Speaker:    Pierfrancesco Mattiolo (University of Antwerp)

                                    The Anti-Coercion-Instrument – A new chapter for EU foreign policy?

                                    Speaker:    Jonas Fechter (University of Münster)

15.30 – 16.00 CEST    Networking and Refreshment Break

16.00 – 17.30 CEST    Session V: Open Strategic Autonomy in the Context of International Law

                                    Chair:        Janosch Wiesenthal (University of Passau)

                                     Foreign Direct Investment Screening and the Notion of Security

                                    Speaker:    Kilian Wagner (University of Vienna)

                                     Policization of the 5G Rollout: What Role for International Economic Law

                                    Speaker:    Dr. Iryna Bogdanova (World Trade Institute)

                                     What role can FDI screening assume within the Open Strategic Autonomy Agenda?

                                    Speaker:    Andrea Gemmi (Bonelli Erede Lombardi Pappalardo Law Firm)




18.00 – 19.30 CEST    Dinner at TBD
                                   courtesy of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

20.00             CEST     Closing Remarks
                                   by Jonas Fechter (University of Münster) and
                                       Janosch Wiesenthal (University of Passau)

Brandenburger Tor, Pariser Platz



11.00 – 13.00 CEST    Walking Tour – City Sights of Berlin
                                   courtesy of Jonas Fechter and Janosch Wiesenthal

Draft Programme

27 APRIL 2023

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