Press remarks by Executive Vice-President Vestager for the political agreement on the Foreign Subsidies Regulation

1 Jul 2022 03:16 PM

Press remarks given yesterday by Executive Vice-President Vestager for the political agreement on the Foreign Subsidies Regulation.

Less than 14 months ago, we presented the Commission's proposal for a Foreign Subsidy Regulation to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies in the EU Single Market. Regulation. I am proud of how fast an agreement with Parliament and Council on the final text of the Regulation was found  – this is a great success.

This Regulation is the living example of how Europe works together to deliver ground-breaking legislative improvements in record time. And I would like to thank all of Commission, Parliament and Council colleagues for their efforts.

This is a milestone in ensuring our Single Market remains open and fair. The political agreement reached yesterday sends an important signal to everyone who wants to our trading partners and companies around the world: you are welcome to do business in the EU; all companies active in the Single Market will be treated equally to ensure fair play.

But of course, more work lies ahead. The Regulation will need to be complemented by implementing rules and the Commission will need to be equipped to effectively enforce it. With this in mind, we expect that the Regulation should start to apply as of mid-2023.

The Foreign Subsidies Regulation is a very important and timely addition to our toolbox. It will help us close the regulatory gap whereby subsidies granted by non-EU governments currently go largely unchecked. To make sure that each company has a fair chance to compete in the Single market, we have had since 60 years strict rules on aid that Member States are allowed to grant. But until now, we had no similar rules for subsidies granted by non-EU countries meaning that companies were able to use financial support from abroad to get an unfair advantage in the EU.

Over the years we have seen that this has become a reality, a very concrete issue that European businesses face. And it is not just European companies that suffer by the effects of these foreign subsidies, but all companies that compete in the EU Single Market.

There have been intense trilogue discussions on numerous aspects of the proposal, such as the level of thresholds or the delegation of powers to the Commission. But, at the end of the day, what really counts is that today we have reached a political agreement on a tool that maintains a balance between an effective and flexible instrument, while limiting the administrative burden that comes with it.

I think we have reached a very good compromise today. We have all shared a common goal of simplifying the procedures as much as possible, tying all the loose ends and keeping the instrument effective. And we did just that.

Today Europe is just as open to foreign investments as it was yesterday, but it is certainly more fair.

So, thank you all very much for the good cooperation.

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