EU should reg­u­late in­vest­ment cau­tiously

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - VIEWS - The author is deputy chief of China Daily Euro­pean Bu­reau. fu­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

In the last 60 years, the Euro­pean Union has ex­panded from six mem­bers to 28, but the bat­tle over the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of Brus­sels and in­di­vid­ual EU states has not abated. The lat­est skir­mish is over Brus­sel’s ea­ger­ness to cen­tral­ize the ap­proval process for Euro­pean com­pa­nies’ takeovers by for­eign en­ter­prises amid an ex­plo­sion of Chi­nese in­vest­ment in the EU.

Brus­sels wants to strengthen the ap­proval pro­ce­dures for for­eign in­vestors that tar­get “key tech­nolo­gies for se­cu­rity rea­sons”, and Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent JeanClaude Juncker is likely to an­nounce reg­u­la­tion op­tions in Septem­ber.

Some EU mem­ber states ar­gue such a move is not nec­es­sary be­cause many of them al­ready have such screen­ing process in place. There are many rea­sons why Brus­sels con­sid­ers such reg­u­la­tion im­por­tant. How­ever, there is a need for the EU to be cau­tious while it is in the process of shap­ing the bloc’s fu­ture.

The United King­dom’s de­ci­sion to break away from the EU was at the heart of the de­bate over the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the EU and its mem­bers states. Hence, the EU must con­sider whether adding an­other layer of red tape will put in­ter­nal co­he­sion, ef­fi­ciency and eco­nomic growth at risk.

It is now for the EU to de­cide whether build­ing trade bar­ri­ers is con­ducive to the eco­nomic growth of the bloc and the rest of the world or harm­ful to all.

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