Abstract: There has been a conspicuous shift in the European Union’s perception of economic interdependence and open markets, manifested in a mushrooming number of screening policies aimed at verifying foreign direct investments raising national security concerns. The introduction of these policies can be viewed as a market constraint that might negatively affect business operations, so it is puzzling that some European business actors did not actively resist their adoption, despite having wide lobbying opportunities in Europe. I explore this puzzle using the case of Denmark by drawing on theories of securitisation and preference formation under uncertainty. I argue that business actors established their policy preferences in the context of uncertainty and the gradual increase in security framing by the European and local political elites. Exposed to these increasing security discourses across different levels and networks, businesses adjusted their policy preferences, balancing between different identities. The flexibility inherent in a multilevel and evolving securitisation process led to the legitimisation of investment screening policies among interest groups and mitigated their resistance to the imposition of market constraints on security grounds.
Keywords: business interest; foreign direct investment; investment screening; securitisation