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Navigating through EU and US FDI screening mechanisms

Hogan Lovells


The European Union and its member states are actively strengthening their foreign direct investment (FDI) screening mechanisms amid increasing global trade and geopolitical tensions. These FDI screening mechanisms generally purport to protect strategic national and regional interests linked to a variety of sectors, including:

  • critical infrastructure (eg, energy, transport, water, health, communications, electoral and finance);
  • critical goods and technologies (eg, dual-use items, aerospace, defence and AI); and
  • critical inputs (eg, raw materials and food security).

The overarching scope of such strategic national and regional interests (and the fact that the European Union and its member states seek to retain a wide margin of discretion in its definition) will most likely result in the introduction of new – and potentially unforeseen – barriers to FDI in the European Union and the United States, whether they take the form of so-called ‘greenfield’ investments or M&A.

On 17 September 2019 the US Department of the Treasury issued proposed rules intended to strengthen and modernise the existing Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review process, providing more detail about the changes to the process for reviewing inbound transactions for potential national security concerns. The proposed regulations expand the scope of foreign investments and acquisitions subject to CFIUS review, including to certain non-controlling investments.

During this webinar, our FDI screening specialists will be detailing and exploring:     

  • the new EU and US screening rules and procedures, including:
    • the European Union’s and member states’ current FDI screening legislative frameworks and specific screening procedures;
    • how the European Commission and the member states will cooperate where the substantive aspects of the screening process fall into a domaine réservé of national governments; and
    • the key provisions of the new proposed CFIUS rules in the United States, including with regard to the expansion of CFIUS jurisdiction and mandatory declarations for certain transactions;
  • which industries will be in the spotlight of the new screening mechanisms and which criteria will play a key role when authorities decide about foreign investment screenings; and
  • how companies can prepare for the coordination of merger control and foreign investment control procedures and how this will affect the timelines of international transactions.


Lourdes Catrain, Partner, Brussels

Lourdes Catrain is co-chair of Hogan Lovells’ International Trade and Investment practice. Her practice focuses on international trade law and policy, including foreign investment control, economic sanctions, export control and customs. Ms Catrain has deep expertise in various EU member state’s foreign investment screening mechanisms.  She regularly advises clients on the applicability of foreign direct investment screening in M&A transactions and assists with the procedure to secure the investment authorisation. She has secured numerous foreign investment approvals and most notably, she led the multiple foreign investment filings relating to GE’s €12.3 billion acquisition of Alstom's energy activities. Ms Catrain is assisting a Latin American country with the drafting and negotiation of the investment chapter of a free trade agreement with China. She has published various articles on and spoken at conferences about the EU foreign direct investment screening regulation.

Falk Schöning, Partner, Brussels

Falk Schöning advises clients on all aspects of EU and German antitrust law, foreign investment control and export control. He focuses his practice on international cases which require coordination between different legal systems or representation vis-à-vis several regulators. Mr Schöning regularly advises clients on structuring transactions, joint ventures and divestitures, and represents them in merger control and foreign investment control proceedings to ensure M&A transactions are successfully closed. He has handled numerous applications for foreign investment control clearances and structured transactions according to investment control requirements. In these matters, he regularly cooperates with EU and German regulators, including the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, Bundesbank, the Federal Ministry of Economics and customs authorities.

Anthony V Capobianco, Partner, Washington, DC

With a focus on US export control laws, economic sanctions and anti-boycott regulations, as well as representing companies before CFIUS, Anthony V Capobianco helps companies on a wide range of regulatory compliance matters. He counsels clients on all regulatory matters under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the Export Administration Regulations, economic sanctions programmes, trade reporting requirements of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and other regulations affecting international trade. He works with his corporate and regulatory colleagues on cross-border due diligence and trade compliance filings resulting from corporate deals, including submissions to the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls and CFIUS.


Lourdes Catrain
Anthony V. Capobianco
Dr. Falk Schöning


23 October 2019
15:00 - 15:55 UTC
55 min