Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
👀 Reveal Warren Buffett's stock picks that are beating the S&P 500 by +174.3% Get 40% Off

EU foreign investment scrutiny has blind spots, say auditors

Published Dec 06, 2023 11:07AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium November 8, 2023. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's scrutiny of foreign investment suffers from blind spots because some EU members do not carry out screening and those that do have widely different approaches, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) said on Wednesday.

The EU has since 2020 obliged EU countries with national screening in place to exchange information on potential security or public order risks, with the European Commission empowered to issue opinions if it sees a risk from an investment in critical sectors such as ports, nuclear plants or semiconductor plants.

The law does not name China, but its proponents' complaints about investments by state-owned enterprises, such as COSCO Shipping's in Greek port Piraeus, and technology transfers were clear references to Beijing.

The Commission has said it will propose revisions before the end of the year, part of a package of measures to boost economic security and reduce the bloc's dependence on China.

The ECA said EU countries reported 886 cases to the Commission from 2020 to 2022, but that 92% of them came from just six countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, and the rest from nine countries, with a further 12 either not screening or not reporting any cases.

"Screening of foreign investment in the EU is a work in progress," said Mihails Kozlovs, the ECA member in charge of the audit. "As the EU's safety net, it has some large holes in it."

The ECA added that the system was overburdened with low-risk or ineligible cases.

EU rules do not oblige countries to set up screening or follow opinions, give them discretion to determine the scope of screening, and do not oblige them to report findings to the Commission, even when it gives an opinion.

The ECA says the Commission should require all EU members to establish screening mechanisms and make them report decisions, should assess whether national screening systems are adequate and should encourage EU countries to align their systems with each other.

The Commission said it accepted a number of the recommendations.

EU foreign investment scrutiny has blind spots, say auditors
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your investing.com profile, will be public on investing.com and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email