TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The European Union on Feb. 14 passed legislation that will require increased scrutiny of Chinese investment into Europe, to decrease the risk of economic entanglements that could compromise critical technologies and infrastructure.
In a vote of 500 to 49, European lawmakers overwhelmingly backed the measure with 56 abstentions on the vote.
Although China is not named specifically in the bill, it is widely reported that concern over China’s predatory investment strategies witnessed across the globe in recent years, was a primary reason for drafting the new legislation.
A French European Parliament member in charge of the proposal, Franck Proust, was quoted by the official EU news release.
“This mechanism is a symbol of Europeans becoming aware that the world isn’t just full of investors who are full of good intentions… Now we can say where we are going - towards a Europe that stands for its interests and defends them.”
According to the Press Release, the new screening mechanism will enable the European Commission and member states to cooperate more closely “in cases where a specific foreign investment in one member state may affect the security or public order of another.”
Proust insists that the EU is not looking to bar foreign investment or make the process more difficult. The new framework is simply to better integrate screening systems of nations that already have them in place, and provide better oversight for the nearly half of EU member states which currently have no screening system.
The new measures also represent another step towards federalization of the European Union, granting Brussels more decision making power over economic investments in member states.
The new framework is scheduled to take effect in October 2020, according to Reuters.