Representatives from the Institute for Democracy (IDSCS) are attending the 2022 CELIS Forum on Investment Screening (CFIS 22) titled ‘The Emerging Law of Investment Control in Europe: Screening, Sanctions and Subsidies’ happening from 1-3 June 2022 in Uppsala, Sweden.
CFIS 22 is Europe’s first and foremost forum to discuss questions on investment screening and security. It serves to enhance the Institute’s analytical capacity and facilitate the shaping of common approaches. A marketplace of ideas, CFIS 22 brings together EU officials, national experts, diplomats, academics, business leaders, think tankers, and representatives of civil society and the media from across Europe and beyond.
As part of the CFIS 22, Zoran Nechev, Head of the Centre for European Integrations within IDSCS participated in the panel “Toward Regulatory Convergence with EU Investment Screening: The Case of the Western Balkans” chaired by Eric Hontz, Director at the Centre for Accountable Investment within CIPE.
Nechev discussed the current state of play regarding screening mechanisms of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the Western Balkans (WB). “In the case of the Western Balkan countries, besides the investments coming from investors from third countries, the institutions need to screen also those made by investors from the EU Member States” stated Nechev.
The panel was also joined by Ivana Gardasevic, Senior Expert at the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Damir Asceric, Expert Associate at Centre for Civil Initiatives (CCI), Jovana Marovic, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs at the Government of Montenegro and Dragan Tilev, State Councillor at the Secretariat for European Affairs in North Macedonia.
Gardasevic focused on the role of the RCC in screening foreign investments stating that “RCC is working in the investment area for a decade already, from the promotion of investments, Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) to policy reforms. FDI screening is addition to investment policy reforms within the Common Regional Market action plan, where the economies of WB agreed to explore the possibility of developing this system. It is important to stress out that the main aim is to secure the strategic sectors of economy and control disruptions corrosive capital might cause to the market”.
Asceric discussed the current research done in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the topic of FDI screening
“The analysis on FDI screening mechanisms we have done so far, is the first type of this kind in BiH. It covers EU regulations mechanisms, overview of four Western Balkans countries regulations and BiH domestic regulations. The analysis puts strong focus on recommendation for BiH alignment to the EU acquis” said Asceric.
Marovic, discussed the importance for such mechanism in the WB expressing that “strengthening the rule of law is the most efficient approach in securing the “clean capital”. By introducing the high standards defined by the EU acquis, a country becomes more resilient towards malign influences and more attractive towards western FDIs” stated Marovic.
Finally, Tilev focused on the importance of the European integration and alignment with the EU regulation. “There is no question whether we need to take the FDI screening regulation on board, but the question is when to start preparing, what model for legal and institutional set up to choose and how to prepare the best for successful implementation of the Regulation with all its annexes and guidance” explained Tilev.
The Institute for Democracy is participating at the CFIS 22 as part of the project “Addressing Corrosive Capital II” supported by Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).