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EU welcomes agreement on foreign investment screening framework

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2019
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Friday, 23 November 2018

EU welcomes agreement on foreign investment screening framework

Today (20/11) the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a political agreement on an EU framework for screening foreign direct investment. The package agreed will ensure that the EU and its Member States are equipped to protect their essential interests while remaining one of the most open investment regimes in the world. President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Europe must always defend its strategic interests and that is precisely what this new framework will help us to do. This is what I mean when I say that we are not naïve free traders. We need scrutiny over purchases by foreign companies that target Europe's strategic assets. I commend the European Parliament and the EU governments for reaching this agreement in such a swift manner." Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "This is an important milestone in the process we initiated only a year ago to protect critical technology and infrastructure in Europe. It shows the willingness of Europe to deliver on a strong demand from our citizens and stakeholders. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, we need means to protect our collective security while keeping Europe open for business. I count on the European Parliament and Member States to swiftly approve the investment screening mechanisms agreed today." Openness to foreign direct investment is enshrined in the EU Treaties. Foreign direct investment fuels economic growth, innovation and employment. However, in some cases foreign investors might seek to acquire strategic assets that allow them to control or influence European enterprises the activities of which are critical for the security and public order in the EU and in its Member States.

Source: European Commission