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New tools to enforce EU’s economic security

As of January 2024, the European Commission submitted several proposals to strengthen the EU’s economic security. The aim of the Commission is to ensure that the EU remains one of the most open and attractive destinations for business and investment. For this reason, new measures have been outlined in the areas of trade and research. The steps concerning trade include (i) improving the screening of foreign investments into the EU to prevent investments that may pose a risk to the EU’s security,  ensuring that all Member States have a screening mechanism with harmonized rules, with the extension of the scope of what investment should be screened; (ii) achieving a more coordinated approach to handle the EU’s exports of dual used good to avoid falling these into the wrong hands; and (iii) reaching a greater understanding of the potential risks with certain EU investments abroad that could eventually be used against the EU. As for research the European Commission proposed to look into ways how to certain research security across the EU.

The proposals have been sent to the Member States and the European Parliament. However, the Commission does not expect these initiatives to be adopted as rules in this legislative cycle, therefore, it should be a priority for the next EU leadership.