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New EU Investment package set to boost trade

The European Commission took the first step towards a comprehensive European international investment policy with two initiatives.

A policy paper lays out how the new EU competence on foreign direct investment can be used to boost competitiveness and trade resulting in growth and jobs. At the same time a draft regulation sets up transitional arrangements offering guarantees on existing or pending bilateral investment treaties concluded between EU and Non-EU countries.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, investment policy will be developed and managed at the European level giving the EU a strengthened negotiating hand to deliver better investment protection for all European businesses.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht stated "European investors need open, sound and predictable business environments to thrive and these proposals aim to strengthen the EU's ability to ensure level playing fields for them. In the long run, a comprehensive investment policy will keep Europe as the world's number one player in the field of foreign direct investment, ensure the best deal for all European businesses, invigorate growth and create jobs at this crucial time."

The investment package comprises two documents: First, the policy paper 'Towards a comprehensive European international investment policy', which explores how best investment policy can contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth - the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Second, a proposal for a Regulation that would establish transitional arrangements regarding those bilateral investment agreements which EU countries concluded with other parts of the world previous to the Lisbon Treaty. Here, the Commission has provided legal security for European and foreign investors, without hampering the EU's ability to negotiate new investment treatie. (BBJ Online)