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EU: Deal on screening of FDI backed in trade committee

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

EU: Deal on screening of FDI backed in trade committee

Trade MEPs backed an agreement on an EU-level tool to screen foreign direct investment (FDI) on grounds of security, to protect strategic sectors. While the EU remains open for investment, inward FDI needs to be vetted due to the changing nature of investment. The proposal, endorsed by 30 votes for, 4 against and 5 abstentions, is the first EU-wide system that supports member states’ screening of FDI on grounds of security and public order. The new regulation protects strategic industries, such as energy, transport, communications, data, space, and finance, and technologies, including semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and robotics. EP negotiators added sectors such as water, health, defence, media, biotechnology and food security. The new regulation offers a list of factors EU countries may take into consideration when screening FDI. The proposed procedures will be more predictable and transparent for member states and investors alike. MEPs strengthened the cooperation mechanism to exchange information and issue comments on FDI targeting other member states. The Commission will have a bigger role to deliver opinions to the EU member, which nevertheless takes the final decision. ”After the successful vote in Council last Wednesday, tonight in the international trade committee it is yet another nice victory of my report on the screening of FDI. Who would have imagined such a result three months ago? We can finally give Europe a mechanism to protect its strategic industries and technologies,” said Franck Proust (EPP, FR), the MEP in charge of the topic in the trade committee.

Source: europarl.europa.eu