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In international economic relations, many countries use protectionist policies to protect their national economic interests. In the context of globalization and integration of the world economy, the right to free trade and equal access to national markets is becoming one of the key issues of international economic relations. Equal access rights guarantee a fair playing field for both foreign and domestic businesses, which can attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the nation. However, they can also be abused to deter FDI under the guise of stronger national interests or as a result of pressure from lobbying organizations. Gatekeeping national markets as a barrier to foreign direct investment (FDI) has been made possible by the global growth of global protectionism, which is a response to the imbalances and inequities brought about by globalization, as well as the deadlock of supranational institutions in the control of international relations. This issue is of relevance for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), which find themselves at the intersection of many economic and political interests. Over the past decades, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have made significant steps towards economic integration with the European Union (EU). However, despite the general successes in the field of trade relations, there are problems associated with restrictions on the entry of goods into national markets, which restricts free trade and threatens further economic growth and development.