EA October 2017

As Chinese Investment Rises in Europe, Brussels Proposes Greater Scrutiny of Foreign Purchases of EU-Based Companies

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Spellman 1The European Union recently proposed a framework for scrutinizing incoming foreign investments that may affect “public order” or “security,” a veiled initiative to address Europeans’ rising concerns over China’s state-owned companies acquiring EU-based businesses that are seen as key for Europe’s competitiveness in the global technology tsunami.[1]

In introducing the proposal in his state of the union address (September 13), the EU President Jean-Claude Juncker said it "strikes a smart balance between strengthening the EU's role where appropriate, a more coordinated approach and the preservation of member states' decision-making authority. The proposal promises to tackle potential national security issues.”[2] He assured Europeans he is not “a naive advocate of free trade,” a signal to those arguing that there is little reciprocity from China and other countries for accessing EU’s open markets.