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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Antitrust/FDI Insights

FDI screening mechanism – heading to transatlantic stronger integration

The EU Foreign Direct Investment Screening Regulation allowed for greater communication between EU Member States and with the European Commission. Following the launch in June 2021 of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), integration will also be increased with the United States.

Published in April 2021 after six months' experience, the European Commission, at the initiative of DG TRADE, has developed a template notification form aimed at gathering relevant, specific and targeted information. The purpose of the form is to enable a faster assessment by the Commission and Member States, under the cooperation mechanism, of whether an FDI undergoing screening is likely to affect security or public order in at least one other Member State. In practice, it allows the other 26 Member States and the European Commission, when receiving and examining a notification pursuant to said cooperation mechanism, to obtain standardised information to assess the impact on their security and public order and on programmes and projects of Union interest for the European Commission.

The co-ordination and cooperation mechanism has proved successful at enabling a processed assessment of ongoing FDI filing screenings. It allows the Commission to give recommendations to Member States on how to apply and share information on foreign direct investment control.

In June 2021, the TTC was launched to serve as a forum for the United States and European Union to coordinate approaches to key global trade, economic, and technology issues and to deepen transatlantic trade and economic relations based on shared democratic values.

Interestingly, one of the main topics of the upcoming talks will include greater integration in so-called investment screening so that both EU and United States sides can share insights on specific cases. A dedicated working group will focus on investments screening issues as the United States and the EU wish to engage in deepening existing engagement on review processes for inward investments.

Let's watch out for the next steps of this cross-Atlantic integration on foreign investment.