Access to security-related sensitive information under Regulation 2019/452 EU and United Kingdom

COMMISSION DECISION of 31.7.2020
on the application of Article 127(7)(b) of the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community to the cooperation mechanism under Regulation (EU) 2019/452 which grants access to security-related sensitive information

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Pursuant to Articles 6 to 11 of Regulation (EU) 2019/4522 a cooperation mechanism between the Commission and the Member States is established to exchange information on foreign direct investments. The purpose of the cooperation mechanism is to allow each Member State to examine whether a foreign direct investment in another Member State is likely to affect its own security or public order and the Commission to examine whether a foreign direct investment is likely to affect security or public order in more than one Member State.

While the cooperation mechanism will apply from 11 October 2020, the preparatory arrangements are undertaken by the Commission and by the Member States since the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2019/452 on 11 April 2019.
The cooperation mechanism provides an exchange of security relevant information between designated contact points of the Member States and the Commission, including classified information at “EU secret/EU confidential” level, to allow Member States and the Commission to examine the possible effects of foreign direct investment on security or public order.
The participation of the United Kingdom in the cooperation mechanism is a participation in an information exchange provided for in Union law, which will continue to be implemented beyond the transition period and which would grant access to security-related sensitive information that only Member States, nationals of Member States, or natural or legal persons residing or established in a Member State, are to have knowledge of. Therefore, this would constitute one of the exceptional cases, in which the references to Member States should be understood as not including the United Kingdom.
Pursuant to Article 127(7)(b) of the Withdrawal Agreement, the United Kingdom should be excluded from participation in the above-mentioned cooperation mechanism.

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