Should foreign direct investment (FDI) in the EU be subject to screening in order to address security or public interest concerns? This question has recently re-emerged in public policy discourse due to some high-profile acquisitions by foreign investors of EU companies with technologies and structures considered to be essential for critical functions of society. Several EU Member States are advocating for increased EU guidance and intervention in this area which, up to now, has been regulated differently (if at all) by the EU Member States. As a result, the European Commission recently submitted a proposal to establish an EU-wide framework for the screening of FDI.
This workshop will address briefly the economic aspects of FDI in the EU and will examine how the EU treaties and other policies relate to FDI. We will look at possible limits to the exercise of the EU’s power resulting from WTO commitments. We will then examine how screening is currently being done in selected EU Member States as well as in the US under CIFIUS, before turning to the European Commission proposal. We will hear how EU businesses and non-EU investors are, or may be, reacting to the current and proposed future screening. The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion and Q&A session.
The workshop – organised by the European Legal Studies Department of the College of Europe in co-operation with Sidley – should be of interest to non-EU businesses (and their advisers) that are contemplating FDI in the EU and to EU companies active in the sectors likely to be subject to FDI screening such as defense, energy production and transportation, telecommunications, and information technology. The workshop should also be of interest to academics and policy makers.
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