‘Investment Screening’ refers to a procedure allowing the State to assess, investigate, authorise, condition, prohibit or unwind foreign direct investments based on a range of security and public order criteria.
The Department is responsible for implementing the EU Regulation “Establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union”. It will act as Ireland’s National Contact Point for cooperation with the European Commission and with other EU member States on investment screening matters.
The Investment Screening Unit can be contacted at email@example.com.
The EU Regulation
The EU Investment Screening Regulation applies from 11 October 2020. The Regulation is a response to the growing concerns amongst Member States about the purchase of strategic European companies by foreign-owned firms from third countries.
The Regulation creates a European framework for screening foreign direct investment where there are concerns that an investment may pose a risk to security or public order in the host Member State, or to other Member States. This framework is intended as a cooperation mechanism through which Member States and the European Commission can exchange information and raise specific concerns about a foreign direct investment from third countries on security or public order grounds.
Full text of the Investment Screening Regulation and a useful Commission Factsheet
Recent EU Developments
In response to the increased risks arising as a result of the COVID-19, the European Commission has identified that, amongst the possible consequences of the current economic shock, is an increased potential risk to European strategic industries, in particular but by no means limited to healthcare-related industries. In response, the European Commission issued guidelines to ensure a strong EU-wide approach to foreign investment screening in a time of public health crisis and related economic vulnerability. The aim is to preserve EU companies and critical assets, notably in areas such as health, medical research, biotechnology and infrastructures that are essential for our security and public order, without undermining the EU’s general openness to foreign investment.
European Commission guidance on FDI in advance of Investment Screening Regulation
Domestic Policy Developments
Public Consultation on Investment Screening
The Department held a public consultation on Ireland’s implementation of the EU Regulation on Investment Screening in May 2020. This consultation will help to inform the policy position that Ireland adopts in relation to the Regulation, with particular consideration given to the potential establishment of an Investment Screening mechanism in Ireland.
Investment Screening consultation and submissions received
In July 2020, the Government agreed to draft legislation which will give effect to a European Union regulation to screen foreign direct investment coming into Ireland. The Investment Screening Bill 2020 will give full effect to EU Regulation 2019/452.
Once enacted, the Investment Screening Bill 2020 will also empower the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to respond to threats to Ireland’s security and public order posed by particular types of foreign investment, and to prevent or mitigate such threats. Under the proposed legislation, the Minister will be able to assess, investigate, authorise, condition, prohibit or unwind foreign investments from outside of the EU, based on a range of security and public order criteria.
Related press release: Government agrees EU Regulation to screen Foreign Direct Investment
Privacy is important to us, and we are fully committed to processing and keeping any personal information we receive safely. Our privacy notice is intended to provide information about the personal data we may collect and about how that data may be used and shared in the context of the processing activities undertaken by the Investment Screening Unit. This notice also sets out the privacy rights connected with the collection of such data. Should you wish to familiarise yourself on how and why we may collect this personal data you can view our privacy notice.
For further information on the Department's policies in relation to data protection, see Data Protection.
European Commission Screening of Foreign Direct Investment
OECD Investment policies related to national security and public order