Global changes, European economic security and the new proposal for revision of the FDI screening Regulation

Since February 2022, Russia brought war back to Europe. The World/Europe is changing, and all the countries from the Western Balkans need to act accordingly. North Macedonia, as a country that opened accession negotiations with the European Union (hereinafter: EU) and is a NATO member, is fully dedicated to vigilantly follow all EU policies and our transatlantic partners. In an interconnected world, no country can act alone to ensure its economic security. Monitoring and limiting foreign ownership or control over strategic sectors and infrastructures, is becoming a must in order to build economic security and resilience. As North Macedonia is getting closer and more integrated into the systems of our strategic partners, the country cannot detach its national security and economic policies from its strategic coalition.

The first step in the accession negotiations process was taken with the launch of the analytical examination of the EU acquis, the “screening”. This process has progressed smoothly and ended successfully on 7th December 2023. The EU accession negotiation process is conducted also in line with the New Methodology¹ and the Negotiating Framework for North Macedonia. It is clear that the accession negotiations process has officially begun and the pace of EU-related reforms needs to pick up and accelerate substantially. The question is not ‘whether’ but ‘when’² we will be able to fully comply with all the EU policies and with the acquis legal and institutional requirements, including implementation of the FDI screening Regulation. Considering the rapid evolution and growing geopolitical tensions, including profound technological shifts, the Commission, based on the European Economic Security Strategy, on 24 January 2024, launched³ five new initiatives with the aim to strengthen the EU’s economic security. This package is a comprehensive approach to strengthen the EU toolbox aimed at mitigating risks linked to foreign investments in the EU, to outbound investments, to dual-use goods and to strengthen the research security.

The focus of this paper is on the FDI screening Regulation. It provides several conclusions that can be considered as a way forward guidance for Macedonia. Following the changes and adjusting to the new policies and legislation created by our Euro-Atlantic strategic partners is must, including following the trend of creating National security strategies in order to respond to new challenges and to strengthen resilience of our democratic societies and of our economies. The Government already decided (2023) to start with preparation of the proposal for national legal act to introduce FDI screening mechanism. During 2024 the analyses of the FDI in the country should be prepared, coupled with the Regulatory impact assessment, including comparative analyses, in order to clarify all elements necessary to choose best institutional model that will feed our legal environment, and also to draft the Law Proposal for national FDI screening mechanism.

Global changes, European economic security and the new proposal for revision of the FDI screening Regulation

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