CMS announced on 2 October the publication of Fortress Europe: The Risk of Rising Protectionism in Europe.
The research report, sponsored by CMS and conducted by leading international research firm Oxford Analytica, is the first in the CMS Lawyers for Business series - a collection of reports on key issues for those doing business in Europe, supported by independent research commissioned by CMS.
Thomas Meyding, Head of the CMS Corporate Practice Group and Partner with CMS Hasche Sigle said: 'Our research shows protectionism is rising across Europe and that is bad for business.'
While the report predicts barriers to trade and investment across Europe will only worsen, it believes the scope of protectionism will be constrained by the international nature of trade and capital, together with the impact of new technology. Businesses are encouraged to monitor the political climate closely and lobby before any changes are made, as it is far easier to defeat proposed legislation than to reverse it after it becomes law.
Meyding explained: 'Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) are one example where national politics could threaten much needed investment. Our research shows that they haven't been used for political ends but rather have been lifesavers for troubled financial institutions. SWFs should not be restricted - better governance yes, higher barriers no.'
Fortress Europe concludes that businesses investing across Europe, particularly those with complex supply chains spread across different jurisdictions, yearn for clear legislation and precise guidance on what investments are permitted and the criteria that must be met.
The full report is available for free.