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HomeLatest NewsSpain proposes to the EU to limit foreign influence in strategic sectors

Spain proposes to the EU to limit foreign influence in strategic sectors

Date: June 14, 2024 Time: 18:43:37

The presence of foreign companies in strategic sectors has sparked discussions at the national level, but also at the European level, since the purchase of 9.9% of Telefónica by the Saudi company STC was made public on the 5th. However, it does not It is a new debate, but the 27 had already drawn it within the map of the challenges of the next decade and Spain has also done so, in the central proposal of the European presidency that will transfer to the group of heads of State or Government the next October 6 in Granada. The document presents a balance of the positive impact of these investments, but without ignoring the risks that accompany them, especially if they involve strategic sectors and countries that do not share European values.

“It is in the EU’s interest to preserve the presence of foreign companies, and even take advantage of their strategic advantages to attract new companies. However, at the same time, the EU should strive to mitigate the risk by gradually limiting the dominance of foreign companies linked to non-related countries in strategic sectors and critical infrastructures,” reads the text presented by Pedro Sánchez this Friday at the CEOE headquarters together with the president of the employers’ association, Antonio Garamendi. An objective that could be addressed through regulatory means, although Spain opts to promote the competition of European companies in these sectors with full respect for the “principles of the international order.”

However, the commitment to the market route requires that “large foreign companies that operate in the single market become facilitators of European innovation and entrepreneurship, instead of hindering them,” maintains the Spanish initiative. The priority is that large technology companies do not have the effects proven in the US in the European environment, that is, less innovation, higher prices for consumers, lower wages for workers and less business activity. On the contrary, the document reflects that in the EU foreign companies create 16% of total employment and catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship “promoting the development of new companies and the growth of SMEs.”

Amplifier of cyber protection standards.

Spain believes that the regulatory route cannot be left aside, since on the one hand, it may be appropriate to reinforce the tools of the European control framework for foreign direct investment (FDI) and on the other, expand cyber protection regulations. “The EU should raise security and predictability requirements in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for foreign companies that provide strategic services,” the text defends. However, this must be done taking the necessary precautions so as not to harm the development of SMEs, given that as highlighted in the Resilient EU “some of the legislation introduced in the past with the aim of preventing the growth of foreign leaders ended up harming to EU companies, which tend to have fewer resources and capacity.”

The Spanish Presidency warns in the letter that “foreign firms could take advantage of their position to gain access to confidential information, pit member states against each other, coerce the EU to promote their economic and political objectives and, ultimately, disrupt “Telecommunications systems, energy and supply chains, vital in the event of conflict with their countries of origin.” The concern focuses on digital services, which could be closed in a matter of seconds, and it is also advocated to gain weight in pioneering sectors in which Europe is already an international leader or can be at the forefront.

However, with these precautions, Spain does not want to stop foreign investment, but rather establish limits to guarantee that it is safe and favorable for the EU economy, as can be seen from the document and from the words spoken by Sánchez. The acting President of the Government has referred to the STC operation in Telefónica to convey peace of mind to the business environment by ensuring that the Executive studies the movement closely and has all the tools to carry out the relevant control. With this line he also distances himself from the positions defended by those around Sumar, while opening his arms to investors who want to provide employment, knowledge and opportunities to the old continent.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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