The Protection of Public Health As A Reason For Restricting Trade And Screening Foreign Investments Within The EU Legal Order


One of the fundamental principles underpinning the functioning of the European Union economic system is the principle of an open market economy with free competition. This is a principle of constitutional order, from which derive the freedom of trade and the freedom of investment. The EU legal order, however, allows the authorities of the Member States to adopt and implement national measures restricting the free exercise of the above economic activities. A key condition for restrictive measures to be taken is that there are reasons for general non-economic interest, such as the need to protect public health. The present study aims to examine the context of exercising this capability at two levels and in two areas. Regarding the intra-EU level, a Member State may impose restrictions on the free movement of goods within the internal market provided that it seeks to ensure the protection of consumer health. As far as the level of economic relations with third countries is concerned, especially the investment sector, the possibility of screening foreign investment and mainly the FDI is provided to achieve objectives related to the safeguarding of fundamental interests of society such as public health. The value of the study is that it contributes a particular legal perspective on important issues raised mainly by the pandemic outbreak in the field of economic relations, and especially in the field of trade and investment.

Keywords: European Union, freedom of trade, freedom of investment, exceptions

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