The EU to take a closer look at foreign direct investment  

Parliament is to vote on Thursday on setting up the first EU-level tool to screen foreign direct investment on grounds of security to protect strategic sectors.

While the EU remains open for investment, inward foreign direct investment (FDI) needs to be vetted to check whether it might endanger the EU’s strategic interests. The proposal protects crucial industries, such as water, transport, or communications, and technologies, including semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

Background

In the last 20 years, the structure and provenance of FDI to the EU changed drastically, with more FDI from emerging economies. Investment from China grew six-fold, from Brazil tenfold, and investment from Russia more than doubled, lately targeting high-tech sectors and often through companies with state ownership or ties to governments.

Currently only 14 EU countries (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom) have FDI screening mechanisms, which differ widely in their scope and design. FDI has cross-border effects, which can now be addressed.

Procedure: ordinary legislative procedure

2017/0224(COD)

Debate: Wednesday, 13 February

Vote: Thursday, 14 February

Press conference: Wednesday, 13 February, at 15.30