Report: FDI Screening Mechanisms with Maria Martin-Prat
The chamber was up and working early to host Maria Martin-Prat, Director, DG Trade, European Commission, and our members to have a discussion around FDI Screening Mechanisms. This topic is one that is large in the EU’s agenda which means that our members were keen to learn more. The EU Committee breakfast briefing had a great turnout as members were all eager to learn more about the proposal and the commissions views on FDI Screening.
The EU has no single Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) screening mechanism, but several states in the EU have their own screening mechanism, which are strongly related to national security. With all states having different interests when it comes to FDI, it is clear that any legislation must suit all states equally to ensure that it if effective and followed. In addition, it must prevent any discrimination toward 3rd party countries.
There was a wide variety of topics discussed during the event, including national security and the threat of a nation completely opening itself up to FDI, this is particularly true when it comes to nuclear energy and if other actors decide to move its production. Furthermore, the issue of supply chains, the role of the commission following the passing of the mechanism and the issue of ‘Red Tape’, and the impacts of the proposed mechanism on competition.
Following the event, Willem Vriesendorp, Partner at FIPRA and Vice Chair of the Competition and Trade Task Force here at the Chamber, kindly provided his thoughts of the event. “It was a great event again with the British Chamber! FDI screening is a hot topic and the British Chamber managed to attract the most relevant speaker with Maria Martin-Pratt. FDI screening is as much about process as it is about politics, so our clients look to us as Public Affairs advisors for insights on this. This event was a great way to gain key intelligence and better understand where this file will be heading during the trilogue discussions. A suivre!”
Director, DG TRADE | European Commission
Ms. Martin-Prat is Director in the European Commission Directorate General for Trade - the Commission Directorate General which manages the EU trade and investment relations with non-EU countries - where she is responsible for the areas of Services, Investment, Intellectual Property and Public Procurement. Before her current post Ms. Martin-Prat was the Head of the Copyright Unit in the European Commission Communications, Networks, Content and Technology Directorate General and, before that, in the European Commission Internal Market Directorate General. Prior responsibilities include being the Head of Unit responsible for free movement of services and freedom of establishment in the European Commission Internal Market Directorate General and being a member of Commissioner Joaquin Almunia's Cabinet (responsible at the time for Economic and Monetary Affairs). Other work experience includes having worked in the private sector (Deputy General Counsel and Director of Legal Policy at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in London) and in the European Parliament. Ms. Martin-Prat is admitted as a solicitor in Spain and has two postgraduate degrees in European Law (from the European Institute of the University of Amsterdam and from the Institute of European Studies of the Free University of Brussels).