On Tuesday, November 20, the European Commission announced a political agreement with EU member states on a new framework for foreign direct investment (FDI) screening. The legal text for the framework still needs to be finalized and released. The announcement can be found here.
According to the Commission, the new framework will provide a mechanism for the Commission and EU member states to request information and raise concerns related to FDI screening, without restricting the ultimate authority of an individual EU member state to determine who can invest within its borders. The framework will also provide for “short business-friendly deadlines” and confidentiality requirements for EU members’ FDI screening regimes and will permit the Commission to issue opinions on FDI cases involving several Member states or EU-wide interests.
Currently only 12 of the 28 EU member states—Austria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK—have formal FDI screening systems in place. The new framework could provide a basis for the remaining EU members to develop such systems.
After the legal text is finalized, the framework still needs to be submitted for formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Separately, the Commission is still conducting an in-depth technical study on current FDI flows related to strategic sectors and technologies for expected release before the end of the year.