The four coalition parties and the PvdA have joined forces to call on the government to speed up the introduction of legislation protecting key industries against foreign takeovers and investments, the Financieele Dagblad reported at the weekend.
Strategic sectors such as healthcare, technology, food and infrastructure, which may be weakened by the coronavirus crisis, could be potentially taken over by US companies or Chinese state companies, the MPs fear.
They have urged the government to ramp up plans for broad national investment monitor which would look at takeover and investment plans from outside the EU and assess them for the likely impact on national security, public order and public health.
Draft legislation for checks on sectors considered to be of ‘vital’ importance – the oil and chemicals sectors and transport – is due at the end of this year. However, the cross-party group of MPs say this should be extended to include the health service, post, farming and tech companies such as Philips and ASML.
‘It is incomprehensible that hospitals are not considered to be a vital sector,’ CDA MP Joba van den Berg told the FD.
MPs are due to debate the project with junior economic affairs minister Mona de Keijzer on Tuesday.
The government is already introducing legislation which would require telecom sector takeovers to be assessed, and there are already similar tests for takeovers in the financial sector, electricity and gas supplies.
As an ultimate sanction, ministers would be able to stop takeovers which could be detrimental to the public interest.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.