• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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EU Commission lays out tougher rules for foreign trade, investment

EU Commission lays out tougher rules for foreign trade, investment

More checks, controls, and screenings on foreign trade and investment with the European Union are on the cards in the latest proposal from the European Commission on Wednesday.

Facing “profound geopolitical turmoil and fast technological shifts” the EU has to reduce security risks from trade and investment, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said in a statement.

The package contains a wider screening regime on foreign direct investment into the bloc so that all EU member states must have a system with harmonised rules.

The idea is to assess the risk involved in foreign takeovers of biotechnology, aerospace, and robotics companies, as well as critical public infrastructure like ports and airports.

Uniform EU controls, on exports deemed sensitive to countries like Russia and China that can be repurposed for weaponry, like advanced electronics or chemicals, are also proposed.

The commission plans for EU countries to agree on common rules for sensitive exports and avoid isolated decisions.

The EU executive arm also wants the bloc to start monitoring investments made outside of the EU over 12 months and assess the risks involved.

According to the commission, there is no existing system in place.

Academic research at risk of exploitation is also included.

The commission called for national intelligence agencies to advise educational institutions on security risks.

EU member states and the European Parliament are now set to scrutinise the proposals.