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Parliamentary questions
PDF 41kWORD 10k
1 March 2021
Question for written answer  E-001186/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Tom Berendsen (PPE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Risks arising from foreign takeovers of Notified Bodies

Notified Bodies (NoBos), which are authorised to grant CE certification, play an important role in monitoring European quality standards. In order to fulfil this role, they need access to all technological data regarding the product concerned. This necessitates the pooling of sensitive information, for example in strategic sectors such as medical equipment or drones. It is therefore surprising that, at the end of 2019, a Dutch NoBo responsible for the inspection of recreational craft was acquired by a Chinese purchaser practically without a ripple(1), bearing in mind that foreign takeovers of NoBos leave many sectors extremely vulnerable to the leaking of trade secrets. However, in answer to parliamentary questions(2), the Dutch Government maintains that it is impossible to prevent such foreign takeovers, adding that NoBos do not pose a sufficient risk in this respect under the relevant framework provisions based partly on EU directives. In view of this:

1. What is the Commission’s assessment of these risks and what view does it take of the absence of mandatory notification and risk analysis regarding NoBo takeovers?

2. Is it willing to include NoBos in risk analyses concerning foreign investment and foreign takeovers of EU companies?

3. What view does it take of the resulting influence exercised by third countries on the formulation and monitoring of European quality standards?

(1)Leeuwarder Courant, 15 October 2020: https://www.lc.nl/economie/Controleert-China-onze-plezierjachten-26108793.html
Original language of question: NL
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