Government seeks public views on investment screening

EU plans new rules scrutinising overseas buyers of stakes in technology and infrastructure

The Government wants the public’s views on EU plans to scrutinise overseas investors in strategically important businesses such as infrastructure and technology.

Brussels is introducing new rules demanding screening of investors from outside the EU that want to buy businesses giving them access to technology, data on European citizens or control of infrastructure and utilities.

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Finance and Innovation, began a public consultation on the proposals on Friday, designed to ensure the Republic continues to attract investors while protecting security and public order.

She pointed out that the consultation would allow the Republic to tailor its screening regime to meet its economic needs and its obligations under the new EU regulations.


“Foreign direct investment has been a feature of Irish economic life for decades and has served this country extremely well,” the minister said.

The EU rules highlight overseas investors that intend transferring intellectual property from cutting-edge European technology companies to their home countries outside the bloc.

They also focus on those buying businesses that will give them control over data on EU citizens or businesses, and investors taking stakes in infrastructure or public utilities.

Ms Humphreys noted that the Covid-19 crisis had placed a greater focus on the need to protect strategic assets.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas