Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission welcomed the agreement on the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) between EU member states and EU parliament.
It stressed in a statement on Thursday that the FSR is an important tool that will help EU authorities to “address distortions caused by foreign subsidies and ensure a level playing field for all companies operating the EU.”
New rules cover public procurement, market concentrations and other market situations, with the Commission stressing that they will close regulatory gaps.
The body pointed out that lack of rules on foreign subsidies have been distorting the market, stressing that subsidies of non-EU member states were not scrutinised like those of bloc members.
“Under the FSR, the Commission will have the power to investigate financial contributions granted by public authorities of a non-EU country which benefit companies engaging in an economic activity in the EU in order to redress their distortive effects,” the body pointed out.
Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager pointed out that the EC’s “commitment to protect the level playing field in Europe is expressed in the speed at which this agreement was reached.”
Same rules for all
She stressed that the EU market is open to investment and trade and added that new rules will make sure that all companies are treated equally.
Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commissioner for Trade, noted that the EU market remains “open to all those who play fair, whether from the EU or not.”
He pointed out that new rules will help the Commission to prevent foreign subsidies from distorting the EU market while complementing its efforts “to foster competition in international trade that supports our capacity to grow and innovate.”
Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, added that new rules will ensure a level playing field.
“The EU procurement market corresponds to around 14% of our GDP,” he observed and pointed out “it is not acceptable that it is distorted by foreign subsidies to the detriment of the competitive firms that play by the rules.”
The EP and the EU Council still have to formally adopt new rules before they come into effect, with the EC stressing that they will become applicable in the bloc six months after adoption.