In Search of a Role for the Member States and the EU to Establish an Investment Screening Mechanism

Investments in enterprises, which are relevant for public security and services, are an important source of growth, jobs and innovations. But such investments can be detrimental to the security of supply for the community members – for example, when a state owned enterprise, which is located in a third state, gets control over the only electricity station in a Member State.

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National Security and Investment Screening: the UK proposal and its problems

In its white paper published in July 2018, the government has acknowledged the key role of foreign investment for the UK’s growth and development, whilst also noting that ‘a small number of investment activities, mergers and transactions in the UK economy pose a risk to our national security.’ The aim of the proposed reforms is to ensure that in these cases the UK government is able to intervene in order to prevent or mitigate such risks.

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Inter-institutional Agreement Reached on Framework for Screening of Foreign Direct Investments

The EU has one of the world’s most open investment regimes, and collectively EU Member States have the fewest restrictions in the world on foreign direct investment. A proposal for a Union Act on the Screening of foreign investment in strategic sectors was tabled by ten Members of International Trade Committee (INTA) at the European Parliament (EP). The inter-institutional “provisional” agreement is going to be voted by the full House of the EP on the 14th of February 2019.

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Rebuilding the Berlin Wall?

On 19 December 2018, the German government has passed amendments to the German Foreign Trade and Payments Act (“AWG”) and to the German Foreign Trade and Payment Ordinance (“AWV”) whose compatibility with European law is highly questionable. The structure and scope of investment review provided for under the AWG in conjunction with the AWV is […]

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Avenues in European Company Law to Screen Foreign Direct Investment

Screening of foreign direct investments could take place through European company law. The harmonization of company law in the European Union as well as the CJEU’s case law offer mechanisms which could be used for the screening of foreign direct investments. Although their primary objective is “the protection of the interests of members and others”, […]

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Debate: A Common European Law on Investment Screening?

Volvo Personvagnar AB, Kuka, Aixtron, OSRAM Licht, Daimler, Saxo Bank, the harbour terminal in Zeebrugge, Spain’s Noatum Port, Italy’s Vado Ligure Port or the Port of Piraeus – the list of discussed controversial company takeovers and acquisitions of major stakes in Europe is getting longer and longer. The political will in the European Union (EU) […]

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