Protecting European assets at a time of crisis

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EU-wide approach to foreign investment screening in a time of public health crisis and related economic vulnerability

Summary

With the outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe, fears have grown that “Europe is for sale” to foreign investors and that the continent may lose its capacity to stand on its own legs. In our “What the Chief Says” event, Maria Martin-Prat, Director of Services and Investment, Intellectual Property and Public Procurement in the European Commission Directorate-General for Trade, has made the case for the importance of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Europe as long as it does not endanger the public order and security in any Member State and the Union as a whole.

Throughout the discussion, Prat highlighted that the EU’s very open economy heavily relies on FDI not only for job creation, but also for innovation and competition— and contrary to what is widely believed, it is the USA, not China, which spends trillions of dollars in Europe each year. In order to support Europe’s economic recovery, it will be essential that foreign investors continue to “go shopping in Europe”. With the Commission’s guidelines on the protection of critical European assets and technology ahead of the full implementation of the European FDI Screening Regulation scheduled for October 2020, the Commission, however, wants to ensure that there are clear limits to the shopping list of foreign investors.

About

About

This ‘What the Chiefs Say’ online series offers the opportunity to engage directly and get to the heart of a specific policy issue with a senior decisionmaker from a European institution or government.

These events are geared to be in tune with the interest of our members and are strategically linked to emerging trends within the EU sphere. It allows us to focus on the opportunities and identify the possible challenges in the European Commission’s own agenda and provides the possibility to go into greater depth and discuss the ‘nitty-gritty’ of policies affecting Europe in the next five years and beyond. Over the course of 2020 the monthly ‘What the chief says’ series will be inextricably linked with the new EU mandate.

The speaker gives a short, 10-minute introduction to the topic under discussion, after which the floor is open to any possible comments or questions which may be posed to the speaker for the remaining 50 minutes.

This debate will be livestreamed. To submit a question for the event, tweet at us @FriendsofEurope using #FoEDebate.


Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact us.

Schedule

Schedule

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Protecting European assets at a time of crisis Expand Protecting European assets at a time of crisis

The European Commission’s guidelines for an EU-wide approach to foreign direct investment (FDI) screening raise important questions at a time of the worst economic, social and health crises of our times. FDI screening can be both an enabling and safeguarding tool for EU companies weakened by the crisis in areas such as health, medical research, biotechnology and critical infrastructures.
We offer our members the opportunity to discuss the public policy objectives of the EU’s FDI screening guidelines and why a consistent approach across Member States is crucial to strike a balance between preserving EU companies and strategic assets with keeping Europe open for business and fostering economic recovery.

Questions include:

  • What is the scale and implications of current FDI in Europe?
  • How do these guidelines help economic recovery and long-term growth?
  • What mitigating measures should be put in place to safeguard public order and security?

Speaker

Maria Martin-Prat

Director of Services and Investment, Intellectual Property and Public Procurement in the European Commission Directorate-General for Trade

moderator

Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

End of debate
Speakers

Speakers

Maria Martin-Prat
Maria Martin-Prat

Director of Services and Investment, Intellectual Property and Public Procurement in the European Commission Directorate-General for Trade

Show more information on Maria Martin-Prat

In her current position, Maria Martin-Prat is responsible for the areas of Services and Digital Trade, Investment, Intellectual Property and Public Procurement. Martin-Prat has long served in the European Commission, formerly holding responsibility for the Copyright Unit in the Directorate-General for Communications, Networks, Content and Technology, as well as for free movement of services and freedom of establishment in the Directorate-General for Internal Market.

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

Show more information on Dharmendra Kanani

Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.

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