05 Mar
European Union

European Council greenlights rules on screening of foreign direct investments

The EU will soon have in place a set of new rules to better scrutinise direct investments coming from third countries on the grounds of security or public order.

The Council today (March, 5) adopted a regulation establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the EU. This is the first time that the EU is equipping itself with such a comprehensive framework, while its major trading partners already have comparable rules in place.

The EU is and will remain one of the world’s most open places to invest in. The new rules on the screening of investments will ensure that openness goes hand in hand with sensible protection of our strategic assets.

Ștefan-Radu Oprea, Minister for Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship of Romania and President of the Council, has said the following: “The new rules on the screening of foreign direct investment will create a cooperation mechanism where member states and the Commission will be able to exchange information and raise specific concerns. Member states will nonetheless retain the power to review and potentially block foreign direct investment on security and public order grounds. The decision to set up and maintain national screening mechanisms will also remain in the hands of individual member states”.

The Commission will be allowed to issue opinions in cases concerning several member states, or when an investment could affect a project or programme of interest to the whole EU, such as Horizon 2020 or Galileo.

Next steps

The regulation will be published on 21 March 2019. The new rules will enter into force twenty days later and will apply 18 months later.

Click here for further information.

By: Estela Martín

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