Taking a closer look at foreign direct investments in strategic sectors

On 29 April 2022, Pim Jansen, Associate Professor of Public Law at Erasmus School of Law, gave a lecture on KU Leuven’s Jura Falconis Conference 2022. The theme was Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), in which FDI’s in the Netherlands and the rest of the European Union are increasingly being examined. He spoke about FDI and the basic values of the EU.

The Netherlands already has sector-specific screening mechanisms in the energy and telecommunication sector. Last year, a bill on general screening legislation was presented to the Dutch Parliament (Wet veiligheidstoets investeringen, fusies en overnames). At the same time, there are some exciting developments at EU level that could have enormous consequences for mergers and acquisitions in the Netherlands and abroad. The European Commission has proposed a new EU directive to fight disruptions of the internal market caused by foreign subsidies. For example, by creating the possibility to act against foreign subsidies that directly make a merger or acquisition in the EU easier.

In addition, the European Commission pleas for the screening of ‘killer acquisitions’ when a business takes over a fertile startup, and the transaction of such does not exceed certain turnover thresholds. Usually, these acquisitions are not monitored, but the European Commission wants to do so.

These developments in the field of FDI could, according to Jansen, have a significant impact on the sector: “Dutch and European proposals for regulation of FDI could possibly change processes of mergers and acquisitions drastically.”

Associate professor

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