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EU framework for FDI screening

17-04-2019

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a framework for screening foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the EU on grounds of security or public order. The proposal was a response to a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex investment landscape. It aimed to strike a balance between maintaining the EU's general openness to FDI inflows and ensuring that the EU's essential interests are not undermined. Recent FDI trends and policies of ...

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a framework for screening foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the EU on grounds of security or public order. The proposal was a response to a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex investment landscape. It aimed to strike a balance between maintaining the EU's general openness to FDI inflows and ensuring that the EU's essential interests are not undermined. Recent FDI trends and policies of emerging FDI providers had cast doubt on the effectiveness of the decentralised and fragmented system of FDI screening – in use in only some EU Member States – to adequately address the potential (cross-border) impact of FDI inflows on security or public order without EU coordinated cooperation among all EU Member States. The proposal's objective was neither to harmonise the formal FDI screening mechanisms then used by almost half of the Member States, nor to replace them with a single EU mechanism. Instead, it aimed to enhance cooperation and information-sharing on FDI screening between the Commission and Member States, and to increase legal certainty and transparency. The European Parliament's Committee on International Trade (INTA) and the Council adopted their positions in May and June 2018 respectively, and interinstitutional negotiations concluded in November 2018 with a provisional text. That was first endorsed by the Member States' Permanent Representatives (Coreper) and by INTA in December 2018. After the text's adoption by the European Parliament and the Council in February and March 2019 respectively, it entered into force on 10 April 2019, and will apply from 11 October 2020, 18 months later. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

5G in the EU and Chinese telecoms suppliers

08-04-2019

The spectrum auctions of fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecoms networks planned in 17 EU Member States for 2019 or 2020 have sparked a highly politicised debate in the EU about whether the use of Chinese 5G equipment in critical EU infrastructure poses a threat to security. While Australia, Japan, and New Zealand have followed the United States (US) in imposing a (partial) ban on Chinese telecom vendors, EU Member States appear to privilege EU-coordinated national risk-mitigating measures over a ...

The spectrum auctions of fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecoms networks planned in 17 EU Member States for 2019 or 2020 have sparked a highly politicised debate in the EU about whether the use of Chinese 5G equipment in critical EU infrastructure poses a threat to security. While Australia, Japan, and New Zealand have followed the United States (US) in imposing a (partial) ban on Chinese telecom vendors, EU Member States appear to privilege EU-coordinated national risk-mitigating measures over a ban.

EU framework for FDI screening

06-02-2019

In 2017, the European Commission submitted a proposal for the creation of an EU enabling framework for the screening of foreign direct investment (FDI), with which it aimed to strike a balance between maintaining the EU's general openness to FDI inflows and ensuring that the EU's essential interests are not undermined. The Parliament and Council have reached agreement on the proposal, which is scheduled to be voted by Parliament at first reading during the February plenary session.

In 2017, the European Commission submitted a proposal for the creation of an EU enabling framework for the screening of foreign direct investment (FDI), with which it aimed to strike a balance between maintaining the EU's general openness to FDI inflows and ensuring that the EU's essential interests are not undermined. The Parliament and Council have reached agreement on the proposal, which is scheduled to be voted by Parliament at first reading during the February plenary session.

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain

05-07-2018

More and more regulators are worrying about criminals who are increasingly using cryptocurrencies for illegitimate activities like money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion. The problem is significant: even though the full scale of misuse of virtual currencies is unknown, its market value has been reported to exceed EUR 7 billion worldwide. This paper prepared by Policy Department A elaborates on this phenomenon from a legal perspective, focusing on the use of cryptocurrencies for financial ...

More and more regulators are worrying about criminals who are increasingly using cryptocurrencies for illegitimate activities like money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion. The problem is significant: even though the full scale of misuse of virtual currencies is unknown, its market value has been reported to exceed EUR 7 billion worldwide. This paper prepared by Policy Department A elaborates on this phenomenon from a legal perspective, focusing on the use of cryptocurrencies for financial crime, money laundering and tax evasion. It contains policy recommendations for future EU standards.

Virtual currencies and terrorist financing: assessing the risks and evaluating responses

04-06-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the TERR Committee, explores the terrorist financing (TF) risks of virtual currencies (VCs), including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It describes the features of VCs that present TF risks, and reviews the open source literature on terrorist use of virtual currencies to understand the current state and likely future manifestation of the risk. It then reviews ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the TERR Committee, explores the terrorist financing (TF) risks of virtual currencies (VCs), including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It describes the features of VCs that present TF risks, and reviews the open source literature on terrorist use of virtual currencies to understand the current state and likely future manifestation of the risk. It then reviews the regulatory and law enforcement response in the EU and beyond, assessing the effectiveness of measures taken to date. Finally, it provides recommendations for EU policymakers and other relevant stakeholders for ensuring the TF risks of VCs are adequately mitigated.

Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders of 14-15 December 2017

12-01-2018

On 14-15 December 2017, EU Heads of State or Government convened in four different settings with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular summit of the European Council, a Leaders’ Meeting on migration, a European Council (Article 50) meeting, and an enlarged Euro Summit. While the European Council meeting adopted conclusions focused on security and defence, social policy, education and culture, the informal debate on migration concentrated on the reform of the Dublin Regulation, in ...

On 14-15 December 2017, EU Heads of State or Government convened in four different settings with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular summit of the European Council, a Leaders’ Meeting on migration, a European Council (Article 50) meeting, and an enlarged Euro Summit. While the European Council meeting adopted conclusions focused on security and defence, social policy, education and culture, the informal debate on migration concentrated on the reform of the Dublin Regulation, in particular on the relocation mechanisms for asylum-seekers. The European Council also discussed tax evasion, welcomed the outcome of the One Planet Summit in Paris, agreed to roll over the sanctions on Russia in response to the annexation of Crimea, and reiterated the EU’s firm commitment to the two-state solution for the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The main results of the European Council (Article 50) meeting were the decision that 'sufficient progress' has been achieved to proceed to the second phase of Brexit negotiations, and the adoption of guidelines in this respect. While there were no formal conclusions at the Euro Summit meeting, participants agreed to focus on areas where the convergence of views is the greatest, most notably the completion of the Banking Union and the transformation of the ESM into a European Monetary Fund.

Perspectives on transatlantic cooperation: Transatlantic cyber-insecurity and cybercrime - Economic impact and future prospects

07-12-2017

Over the past two decades, an ‘open’ internet and the spread of digital technologies have brought great economic benefits on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same time, the spread of insecure digital technologies has also enabled costly new forms of crime, and created systemic risks to transatlantic and national critical infrastructure, threatening economic growth and development. The transnational nature of these phenomena make it very difficult for effective policy solutions to be implemented ...

Over the past two decades, an ‘open’ internet and the spread of digital technologies have brought great economic benefits on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same time, the spread of insecure digital technologies has also enabled costly new forms of crime, and created systemic risks to transatlantic and national critical infrastructure, threatening economic growth and development. The transnational nature of these phenomena make it very difficult for effective policy solutions to be implemented unilaterally by any one jurisdiction. Cooperation between stakeholders in both the EU and US is required in the development and implementation of policies to increase the security of digital technologies and increase societal resilience to the cybersecurity risks associated with critical infrastructure. Although there is a great deal of congruence between the stated policy goals in both the EU and US, obstacles to effective cooperation impede effective transatlantic policy development and implementation in some areas. This study examines the scale of economic and societal benefits, costs, and losses associated with digital technologies. It provides an overview of the key cybercrime, cybersecurity and cyber-resilience issues that policy-makers on either side of the Atlantic could work together on, and explains where effective cooperation is sometimes impeded.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Benjamin C. Dean, Iconoclast Tech Foreword by Patryk Pawlak, formerly of EPRS, now of EU Institute for Security Studies Administrator responsible: Elena Lazarou, Members' Research Service, EPRS

Combating terrorism

12-09-2017

The phenomenon of foreign fighters travelling to conflict zones, mostly in Syria and Iraq, represents a growing threat for the EU and its Member States. Most of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe were perpetrated by 'home-grown' terrorists, and at least some of the perpetrators proved to be returned foreign fighters. In December 2015, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive on combating terrorism, aimed at updating the current framework on criminalising terrorist offences ...

The phenomenon of foreign fighters travelling to conflict zones, mostly in Syria and Iraq, represents a growing threat for the EU and its Member States. Most of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe were perpetrated by 'home-grown' terrorists, and at least some of the perpetrators proved to be returned foreign fighters. In December 2015, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive on combating terrorism, aimed at updating the current framework on criminalising terrorist offences and at bringing EU legislation into line with international developments, such as the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 and the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism. The proposal extends the list of offences, to cover receiving of terrorist training, travelling and attempting to travel abroad for terrorism, and funding or facilitating such travel, and also includes provisions on the protection of victims. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the Parliament and Council, the final act was signed in March 2017. Member States are required to transpose the new directive into national law by 8 September 2018.

European information systems in the area of justice and home affairs: An overview

11-05-2017

The interconnections between border management, migration and internal security have become more apparent recently in the context of high inflows of refugees and irregular migrants and of increasing terrorist activities in the EU. To address these challenges, the EU has taken steps to revise and develop the European information systems in order to improve the collection, processing and sharing of data among Member States and relevant EU agencies. This publication provides an overview of the existing ...

The interconnections between border management, migration and internal security have become more apparent recently in the context of high inflows of refugees and irregular migrants and of increasing terrorist activities in the EU. To address these challenges, the EU has taken steps to revise and develop the European information systems in order to improve the collection, processing and sharing of data among Member States and relevant EU agencies. This publication provides an overview of the existing and proposed European information systems in the area of justice and home affairs. It discusses the legal basis, the purposes, the scope of data and access, the utilisation and the proposed changes for each information system, including issues of interoperability.

Countering hybrid threats: EU-NATO cooperation

02-03-2017

The concept of hybrid threat has gained traction in relation to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the ISIL/Da’esh campaigns going far beyond Syria and Iraq. Faced with this constantly evolving challenge, the European Union and NATO have taken several steps to strengthen their respective capabilities and pursue common objectives through closer cooperation. The EU-NATO joint declaration adopted in July 2016 in the margins of the Warsaw NATO Summit represents a clear step forward in this regard. The document ...

The concept of hybrid threat has gained traction in relation to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the ISIL/Da’esh campaigns going far beyond Syria and Iraq. Faced with this constantly evolving challenge, the European Union and NATO have taken several steps to strengthen their respective capabilities and pursue common objectives through closer cooperation. The EU-NATO joint declaration adopted in July 2016 in the margins of the Warsaw NATO Summit represents a clear step forward in this regard. The document outlines new areas for practical cooperation, in particular with regard to hybrid threats, building resilience in cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The Council conclusions of 6 December 2016 stressed that the implementation of the joint declaration is a key political priority for the EU. It welcomed the progress achieved in advancing EU-NATO relations, including implementing and operationalising parallel procedures and playbooks for interaction in countering hybrid threats. With a view to ensuring further progress, the Council endorsed a common set of proposals focused on better coordination, situational awareness, strategic communication, crisis response, and bolstering resilience. The North Atlantic Council endorsed the same set of measures. Reports on implementation, including possible suggestions for future cooperation, should be provided on a biannual basis from the end of June 2017. This is an updated edition of an At a Glance note published in June 2015.

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