Europe

Trade and security: Commission highlights work to defend EU interests and values


The European Commission is presenting key findings associated to defending EU pursuits in terms of export controls and international investments within the EU. The Commission screened 400 international investments for the reason that new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) screening laws entered into pressure. While solely in place since a yr, there was a powerful take-up of this mechanism, that means that EU pursuits shall be higher protected going ahead. At the identical time, over 30,000 requests for the export of products with potential navy use have been reviewed by Member States below the EU Export Control regime, with 603 of those exports blocked. These are a number of the highlights introduced on the event of publication of the primary reviews on FDI screening and on export controls.

Executive Vice President and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis stated: “The EU remains open to trade and foreign investment – this is a pillar of our job creation and economic growth. But our openness is not unconditional and it needs to be balanced by appropriate tools to safeguard our security and public order. Foreign investment screening and control of exports of dual use goods help keep the EU safe, while protecting human rights. They are key elements of our open, sustainable, and assertive trade policy. These two reports highlight how these tools can help the Commission and competent Member State authorities to act decisively when the situation demands, defending our interests while promoting our values.”

FDI Screening

This report on FDI screening is the primary to be printed for the reason that new EU FDI screening regulation got here into pressure a yr in the past. Under this regulation, member states and the Commission work intently collectively to make sure that any international direct funding which may pose a safety threat to EU member states or EU crucial belongings is successfully screened.

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In phrases of key findings, the report highlights:

  • The Commission screened 265 transactions notified by member states below the report till finish of June 2021 (now the teller is above 400);
  • 80% of the transactions didn’t justify additional investigation and have been thus assessed by the Commission in simply 15 days;
  • most notifications for screening from Member States involved the manufacturing sector, ICT, wholesale and retail;
  • the highest 5 international locations of origin of traders amongst notified FDI instances have been firms situated in: the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Canada and the United Arab Emirates, and;
  • the Commission issued an opinion in lower than 3% out of 265 screened instances.

The report confirms that the EU stays open for international funding, whereas making certain the safety of EU safety and public order. The FDI screening cooperation mechanism works successfully and doesn’t create pointless delays for transactions. A rising variety of member states have adopted their very own screening mechanism – 18 now have a mechanism in place.  The European Commission expects all member states to undertake nationwide screening mechanisms. This will additional improve the effectiveness of the screening system and guarantee a complete EU method to deal with dangers associated to safety or public order.

Export Controls

This is the final report on export controls earlier than the entry into pressure of the upgraded Export Controls Regulation.

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The report exhibits that dual-use exports signify about 2.3% of whole EU exports. Out of a complete variety of 30.292 functions for and notifications of exports below licences, 603 transactions (exports) have been denied (in 2019) representing about 0.02% of whole exports. This would put the worth of dual-use commerce at €119 billion in 2019.

The new Regulation that entered into pressure on 9 September this yr strengthens export controls additional by:

  • Introducing a novel ‘human safety’ dimension as a way to seize rising dual-use applied sciences – particularly cyber-surveillance instruments;
  • simplifying procedures and making the export management system extra agile and in a position to evolve and regulate to circumstances;
  • creating an EU capacity-building and coaching programme for member states’ licensing and enforcement authorities;
  • co-ordinating and supporting strong enforcement of controls, and;
  • establishing dialogues with third international locations in order to reinforce world safety and selling a stage taking part in discipline at world stage.

Memorandum on Dual Use Controls 9 September 2021.

Background

FDI screening and export controls are a part of the EU’s renewed commerce technique, that seeks to implement EU rights and defend its values extra assertively. Other initiatives and actions below this technique embrace:

  • A proposal on an International Procurement Instrument to assist guarantee a stage taking part in discipline within the world procurement market. This is presently with the European Parliament and Council.
  • A legislative proposal for a brand new anti-coercion instrument due in December 2021 that can permit the EU to answer makes an attempt by different international locations to pressure the EU or its international locations to result in coverage adjustments.
  • A brand new instrument presently ready by the Commission, designed to deal with successfully international subsidies that trigger distortions and hurt the extent taking part in discipline within the Single Market in any market state of affairs.
  • A brand new ‘Access to Markets’ portal launched in October 2020, offering simply accessible and multilingual info to assist companies of all sizes to take advantage of EU commerce agreements .
  • A Single Entry Point established in November 2020, making it fast and straightforward for any EU-based stakeholder to lodge complaints about non-compliance by third international locations with their worldwide commerce commitments vis-à-vis the EU.
  • A extra systematic use of the institutional buildings established by EU commerce agreements to make sure efficient implementation of commitments by third international locations and the decision of market entry limitations.
  • A extra lively use of dispute decision mechanisms to implement our rights.
  • Continued mobilisation of civil society representatives within the implementation of EU commerce agreements and preparations, notably on commerce and sustainable improvement.

More Information

Report on the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union

Accompanying document to FDI report

Report on the control of exports, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use items

Factsheet

Brochure

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