Monday

21st Jun 2021

EU industry chief voices need to block Chinese takeovers

  • EU industry commissioner Antonio Tajani (Photo: EPP)

Europe should establish a new authority with powers to block foreign takeovers of strategic European businesses, EU industry commissioner Antonio Tajani has argued.

The authority is particularly necessary as Chinese companies increasingly look to grow their overseas investments, the Italian politician said in an interview with German business daily Handelsblatt on Monday (27 December).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"Chinese companies have the means to buy more and more European enterprises with key technologies in important sectors," remarked Mr Tajani.

"It is a question of investments but behind that there is also a strategic policy, to which Europe should respond politically," he said.

As a result, Europe should establish "an authority tasked with examining foreign investments in Europe" using the the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US as a model.

Under the proposal, the European authority would determine "if the acquisition (of a company) with European know-how by a private or public foreign company represented a danger or not."

A number of European and American firms have been frustrated in recent years by the speed at which their Chinese competitors have acquired new technologies developed outside the Middle Kingdom.

For its part, China has gradually sought to remove its own restrictions on foreign investment but considerable limitations still apply.

Reacting to the EU suggestion for a new authority, German economy minister Rainer Bruederle warned against overly quick decisions.

"Of course one can have an evaluation procedure taking into account security and public order concerns. But we shouldn't take hasty actions," Mr Bruederle told the Handelsblatt paper on Tuesday.

"Europe profits from the openness of its markets and offers attractive conditions for foreign investors," he added.

China urges Germany and France to solve euro-crisis

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday offered vague promises to buy bonds from troubled euro-countries, but said that it is ultimately up to Germany and France to solve the crisis.

MEPs and China mark change in relationship

Members of the five big political groups in the European Parliament have met with members of the one big political group in the National People's Congress of China, in what has been described as a “changing” and "very friendly" climate.

NGOs: Leaked EU biomass reform 'denial of science'

Green groups called on the European Commission to remove forest biomass from the Renewable Energy Directive, arguing that the proposal leaked this week shows a "clear denial of science" and "dangerous greenwashing".

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. AstraZeneca must deliver 50m doses by September or face fines
  2. Next week is time for EU to finally lead on rule of law
  3. Austria blocking EU sanctions on Belarus banks
  4. Number of people forcibly displaced reaches historic high
  5. Three-quarters of EU citizens support vaccines, survey finds
  6. NGOs: Leaked EU biomass reform 'denial of science'
  7. US and Russia restart talks on cyber and nuclear war
  8. Europe needs to help sea rescues, say NGOs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us