site.btaLaw Changes Related to Screening of Foreign Direct Investments Adopted at First Reading
The National Assembly adopted at first reading a bill amending and supplementing the Investment Promotion Law with 141 votes in favour, 38 against and 19 abstentions.
According to the report of the Committee on Economic Policy and Innovation, the draft law establishes a mechanism for implementing a European regulation and a framework for screening foreign direct investment in the EU. According to the text of the report, this harmonises national legislation with that of the European Union. It points out that the aim is to protect the Bulgarian economy from investments with "corrosive capital", i.e. investments or acquisitions that have the potential to harm national security or public order in Bulgaria, and in a broader sense - the security of Bulgaria's European and Atlantic partners.
It also states that the scope of investments subject to regulation in the bill are those in critical infrastructure related to energy, transportation, water, health, communications, media, data processing or storage, aviation, defence, election or financial infrastructure, sensitive facilities, and land and real property that are critical to the use of such infrastructure, critical technologies and dual-use items, including artificial intelligence, robotics, semiconductors, cybersecurity, aerospace and defence technologies, energy storage technologies, quantum and nuclear technologies, as well as nanotechnologies and biotechnologies, the supply of critical resources, including energy or raw materials, access to sensitive information, including personal data, or the ability to control such information, or freedom and pluralism of the media, the committee's report said.
An Inter-Ministerial Council for Screening of Foreign Direct Investment Related to Security and Public Order is to be established as a permanent collective body and shall be supported logistically by the Bulgarian Investment Agency, and the Minister of Innovation and Growth shall issue regulations for its organization and operation.
The Council shall include representatives of ministries and departments in view of the need for high expertise in various areas of public life.