Pre-emptive depoliticisation: the European Commission and the EU foreign investment screening regulation

Anna Vlasiuk Nibe, Sophie Meunier, Christilla Roederer-Rynning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In March 2019 the European Union adopted the first pan-European investment screening framework, thus joining the bandwagon of growing investment screening mechanisms around the world. This article explores why the European screening framework was adopted swiftly and with no politicisation, even as the negotiations unfolded against the background of heightened politicisation of trade and investment policy. The paper develops three expectations: (1) converging member state preferences; (2) securitisation of investment policy; and (3) Commission entrepreneurship. It then explores them empirically through process-tracing, drawing on extensive interviews with the actors involved. We argue that the European Commission played a pivotal role. To avoid falling into another strand of politicisation and to defuse political mines, the Commission engaged in a ‘pre-emptive depoliticization’ strategy that shortened the policy process, limited the number of actors involved, and justified the policy options in a legalistic framing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-211
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Depoliticisation; European Commission; FDI; investment screening; ISM


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