Safe and sound: an EU approach to sovereign investment. Bruegel Policy Brief 2008/08, November 2008

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Nicolas Veron; Lars. Hendrik-Roller
paper description
This Policy Brief looks at how the EU should react to the changing patterns of inward foreign investment, including a recent rise in investment coming from countries with diverse, often non-democratic political regimes. Lars-Henrik Röller and Nicolas Véron advocate building an EU-level policy framework for the review of the security consequences of foreign acquisitions, the implementation of which would at national level. Summary. A growing share of inward investment into the European Union, including but not limited to sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), will come from countries with diverse political regimes with which Europeans may not always see eye-to-eye. The current crisis may increase both Europe’s need for such investment and its sensitivity to the non-economic mplications. New investor countries have incentives to refrain from political use of their assets, as illustrated by the recently published ‘Santiago principles’ for transparency and accountability of SWFs. But these incentives are not powerful enough to spare Europe its own assessment of security risks linked to new trends in foreign investment.