It is our pleasure to invite you to our online discussion event

Protecting European Sovereignty in Key Technologies and Critical Infrastructure

Effective Investment Screening at EU and National Level


Sofia Bournou, Senior Adviser, International Relations Department, BusinessEurope

Cora Jungbluth, Senior Expert China and Asia Pacific, Bertelsmann Stiftung

David Krappitz, Policy Officer, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

Peter Sandler, Director Enforcement, Market Access, SMEs, Legal Affairs, Technology and Security, European Commission, DG Trade

Thursday, December 8

5:00 – 6:00 pm CET/11:00 – 12:00 pm EST


Mark C. Fischer, Senior Project Manager, Bertelsmann Stiftung

Register here

This event continues our hybrid series EU Strategic Toolbox Talks. In our Toolbox Talks, we are focusing on existing and upcoming EU instruments aimed at managing critical dependencies and strengthening the EU’s sovereignty. These instruments form an important basis for fostering the EU’s capability to act in a global environment increasingly shaped by geopolitical tensions and systemic rivalries.

Investment screening at the national and European levels has been an increasing focus of debate as the nature of the relationship with China has changed fundamentally in recent years. The war in Ukraine has underscored the vulnerability of the EU and the challenges to the rules-based multilateral order mount in general.

Cases such as the Chinese acquisition of the port of Piraeus and major stakes in other European ports such as Rotterdam, Le Havre, Antwerp and most recently Hamburg, as well as efforts to buy companies in key technology areas such as chip manufacture and robotics, have raised concerns about the EU’s ability to defend its critical infrastructure and the Intellectual Property Rights of its strategic industries.

A structural rebalancing of globalization is underway and effective investment screening mechanisms are one tool the major international actors can’t afford to neglect to ensure a level playing field.

In this discussion, we will address the following questions and topics:

An overview of existing EU and national mechanisms for investment screening. Where do we need further tools? Where do we need better coordination?

  • Does the EU need an institutional analogue to the US’ CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment)?
  • How can the process for screening FDI become more effective at the EU level? Does the Hamburg Port case in Germany show the need for a more coordinated approach?
  • What tools does the EU/national governments have to ensure that forced transfer of critical technologies through FDI can be averted? Is a screening tool for outward FDI needed?
  • Which role should/can the German government play in supporting a consolidated EU approach?
  • What are the chances for closer transatlantic coordination on investment screening, e. g. via the Trade and Technology Council?
  • In how far does investment screening impact the business and investment environment in the EU and its member states?

We are looking forward to your participation.

Mark C. Fischer
Senior Project Manager
Programm Europas Zukunft