Is ‘Protectionism’ a Useful Concept for Company Law and Foreign Investment Policy? An EU Perspective

Crispin Waymouth

in Company Law and Economic Protectionism

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199591459
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595578 | DOI:
Is ‘Protectionism’ a Useful Concept for Company Law and Foreign Investment Policy? An EU Perspective

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This chapter examines the term ‘protectionism’ and whether it is possible to apply it meaningfully to company law and foreign investment policy. After looking at the various definitions of ‘protectionism’, it argues that whilst the word is perhaps useful as a general term for describing an economic ‘bad’ that should be avoided, it is nearly useless at describing specific actions, particularly in the regulatory field, and its employment today often risks doing more harm than good. The chapter sets out four alternative criteria—the general public interest, non-discrimination, proportionality, and predictability—and tests EU and Member State behaviour in company law and foreign investment policy against these. It concludes that there is a mixed picture and that more needs to be done to promote open investment, including through international co-operation.

Keywords: protectionism; EU; company law; foreign investment; public interest; non-discrimination; proportionality; predictability

Chapter.  10130 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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