European Union summit participants show unity on anti-Russian sanctions - Merkel

She singled out the United States which has taken a more protectionist approach under President Donald Trump.

But the reformist Macron, France's freshly elected president, wanted to put a special focus on the wave of blockbuster investments by China in Europe that has spooked some member states, including Germany.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the end of an European Union summit in Brussels on Friday that proposals from British Prime Minister Theresa May on preserving the rights of European Union citizens after Brexit were "not the breakthrough".

On Thursday morning, the EU's 28 governments were still tweaking language on screening investments from third countries in strategic sectors, according to draft summit conclusions obtained by Bloomberg. He added that if the French president had thought that the best form of friendship between the EU states is to kick the central European countries then it is not the norm.

"We agreed that we would explore a new mechanism, whereby the Commission might screen such investments to ensure that it doesn't have those negative strategic consequences for Europe", Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar told journalists after the summit on Friday.

Instead, the watered-down conclusions say that leaders welcome an initiative by the Commission "to analyze investments from third countries in strategic sectors", while there is no reference to any screening of acquisitions from overseas.

The head of the German government said this after a meeting of the participants of the European Union summit on foreign policy issues and her conversation with Macron yesterday in Brussels, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

Beijing has faced worldwide condemnation for flooding the world with super cheap steel, solar panels and other products, leaving global rivals on their knees.

In response to the developments, the Chinse foreign ministry said it would continue to "encourage Chinese companies to invest in the EU" and "request them to abide by local laws and regulations".

The EU is already discussing ways to strengthen its anti-dumping procedures, something that is also expected to feature in the leaders' final statement, with a call to "swiftly agree on modern, World Trade Organization-compatible trade defense instruments".

  • Zachary Reyes