White Paper on Foreign Subsidies - raising a 'red flag' in Brussels?
08 July 2020

12.00h - 13.30h (CET)


Dr. Christof Schoser, Head of Task Force 
Third-Country Subsidies

European Commission

By Zoom webinar
CPD:Accredited for 1.5 hours CPD (UK SRA)
Registrations:Close at 6pm - 07 July (CET)
Joining details:Sent to participants 11am (CET) - 08 July
On 17 June, DG COMP launched a 13-week public consultation seeking comments on a White Paper on levelling the playing field as regards foreign subsidies (‘the White Paper’).

Comments on the White Paper are open until 23 September.

The White Paper defines a “foreign subsidy” very broadly, including the transfer of funds or liabilities (for ex. capital injections by governments), preferential tax treatment or fiscal incentives (ex. tax credits) and the provision / purchase of goods or services (“subsidies”).

The White Paper posits a legal framework that could address two different aspects of the distortions in the EU internal market stemming from such subsidies. Firstly, the distortions caused by subsidies benefitting an economic operator active in the EU. Secondly, the distortive effect of subsidies in the context of acquisitions of EU targets.

The White Paper discusses three tools (or “modules”) that could be applied alternatively, on a stand-alone basis or in combination to remedy such distortions
  • The foreign subsidy control mechanism
  • A mandatory M&A notification mechanism; and 
  • A foreign subsidies in public procurement procedure.
Under the guise of the EU’s April 2019 FDI Framework Regulation (EU 2019/452) and prompted to some degree by the Covid-19 pandemic, several Member States - for ex. France, Germany, Spain and The Netherlands - have proposed tightening-up their national mechanisms for reviewing foreign direct investment proposals from non-EU entities.

Participants in this first Europe-wide
'Chatham House rule' webinar with Eddy de Smijter and Christof Schoser will gain an early understanding of how, assuming a legislative proposal emerges in 2021, the White Paper would help European companies pursue their recovery strategies by leveraging and redressing the competitive balance in the EU’s internal market.

List of participants (updated 07 July)

White Paper consultation page (17.06.20)

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on the White Paper (17.06.20)

FDI Framework Regulation (EU 2019/452) OJEU L79/1  (21.03.2019)

European Commission FDI Guidance (25.03.20)

Communication 'A New Industrial Strategy for Europe' (10.03.20)

'Keeping the EU competitive in a green and digital world' Margrethe Vestager, College of Europe (02.03.20)
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The discussion will last a maximum of 90 minutes. All participants will receive the speaker's presentation and will be able to ask questions.

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