As of yesterday, 11 October 2020, the EU Regulation 2019/452 of 19 March 2019 (“Regulation”) on the control of foreign direct investment is directly applicable in Italy. The aim of the Regulation is to establish a common system among Member States of the European Union in order to monitor foreign investment. With this Regulation, the European Union provides itself with ad hoc screening mechanisms for operations with a potential impact on security and public order in the territory of the Union and an additional instrument to protect strategic activities.
This legislation is the result of a geopolitical framework marked by the desire to exercise greater control over economic activities within member countries, in the light of certain economic changes. Even more recently, concerns have been raised by multiple parties concerning activities carried out by non-EU actors – including governments of foreign countries – who could have taken advantage of the economic shock resulting from the pandemic to acquire critical businesses and activities in the EU for small amounts, given the EU’s current economic vulnerability.