Country Note Portugal 2023

CELIS Country Note on Portugal, 2023

by Suzana Tavares da Silva and Marta Vicente

Date of Publication 27.07.2023


The 2010 financial crisis was a critical moment in Portugal’s political and legal interaction with
foreign investment. Not only it prompted the privatization of most public companies in the
utilities sector (electricity post, airports), but it led to the withdrawal of the golden share regime,
which has long been held incompatible with EU law. At the same time, the origin of the
upcoming private investment raised some concerns, which culminated in the approval of
Decree-law no. 138/2014, of 15 September – the portuguese investment screening
mechanism. It covers business operations whereby third-country investors acquire control over
strategic assets, which are likely to embody a real and sufficiently serious threat to defence,
national security, or security of supply of public sectors. As the Report portrays, the mechanism
is simply featured, containing no sanctions, no mandatory screening and no mandatory
notification by investors. Besides, it has not been used so far, which explains the absence of
administrative guidelines for its application.

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