Two hats on one head: Competition authorities and FDI screening

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The Regulation 2019/452 establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union (EU FDI Screening Regulation) was adopted on 19 March 2019 and became fully operational on 11 October 2020. Its adoption was preceded by the heated discussion on the need to reform the EU merger control framework, which according to some stakeholders, should be able to take into account the competitive advantages of the foreign state-owned enterprises and not prevent the Member States from promoting their own “national champions” that could effectively challenge their foreign competitors on the global markets. The EU Commission was opposed from the outset to the potential “politicization” of the EU merger control and was seeking for alternative regulatory frameworks that could address the above-mentioned concerns.