EU commissioner wants foreign investment review board
Several European Union countries back the idea of a body to oversee investments from abroad, the European Union's industry commissioner Antonio Tajani said.
"We need this debate," the Italian told German business daily Handelsblatt in an interview Wednesday. "We have received signals in this sense from France, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain."
Germany has also expressed interest, even though its Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle is personally opposed, Tajani said.
The commissioner unveiled in December a plan to create an authority tasked with reviewing foreign investment in Europe similar to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Bruederle, a member of the pro-business Free Democratic Party, expressed scepticism at the time.
Tajani stressed that foreign investment in Europe was welcome but said: "An investor should commit themselves clearly and not just have in mind the theft of know-how or technology."
He has written to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to get the ball rolling, a letter co-signed by the EU's internal market commissioner Michel Barnier.
© 2011 AFP