Foreign Direct Investment in CEE: Legal Measures to Protect National Interests

Project Details

Financing body

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Jubiläumsfonds)


The research project will analyse the legal situation regarding barriers to foreign current investment (FDI) in selcted CEE countries. We intend to cover not only national screening and approval procedures, but also to investigate other mechanisms, which allow the government to exercise influence on national companies, such as Golden Shares etc. The aim is to draw as far as possible a comprehensive picture of the means available. At the end of the project, we also expect to identify indications why certain developments in individual CEE states have gone in a particular direction. The research project intends to create an improved basis for discussion on the European level, as legislative measures in this area are currently being developed, as well as to provide impulses for the scholarly discussion in CEE, where so far the topic has only been covered in a basic way if at all.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Europe in spring 2020, and the following global economic recession, the approaches to FDI in Europe have, however, changed rather drastically. On March 25th, 2020, as part of measures taken in connection with the Covid-19 emergency, the EC provided guidance to Member States on how to use foreign direct investment (FDI) screening in times of public health crisis and economic vulnerability in the EU. There is general concern within the EU that FDI in strategic industries would lead to disadvantages not only for national economies, but also for the resilience of health-care industries, in particular, but also other industries, and their capacity to respond to the needs of local citizens. Several jurisdictions in Western Europe and CEE) are following the guidance by broadening their view on which sectors they view to be strategic, and the thresholds at which approvals will be required.
Effective start/end date1/02/2020/05/22