EC launches consultation on facilitating intra-EU investment

On May 26 2020, the EC launched a consultation to clarify and supplement rules on cross-border investment within the EU.

According to the consultation document released by the EC, the EU currently faces a growing need for private investment – both for its efforts to mitigate climate change and remain competitive in an increasing digital economy – while inward investment levels have declined. While the document notes that investment into the EU has decreased and intra-EU investment has not increased, the consultation focuses only on the facilitation of the latter.

The EC notes that the situation can be partly attributed to a lack of investor confidence in the wake of the Achmea decision, which led to the termination of intra-EU BITs. The document cites investor concerns related to a lack of policy stability, and the potential to be at a disadvantage compared to non-EU investors who can still rely on the protection of BITs. The EC states, however, that EU law still provides investors with full protection. The document further notes that cross-border investment is currently hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of these challenges, the consultation document invites stakeholders to share their views on “the best way to improve the intra-EU investment environment.” Specifically, the consultation document aims to elicit feedback on the rules protecting intra-EU investment; the enforcement of these rules; and measures to facilitate and promote cross-border investment.

The consultation will remain open until September 8, 2020.