According to a report in a Polish newspaper, the country's government is preparing measures to protect its energy majors from hostile foreign takeovers.

The Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper reports that the plans would enable the government to take an energy company back under state control if it were felt that a hostile takeover would be detrimental to the country’s strategic interests.

However the newspaper adds that the measure would be controversial because it flies in the face of EU policy, which aims to liberalize the energy sector across Europe.

Poland is not the first country to attempt to build artificial barriers to protect national industrial champions: Spain has done its best to derail German giant E.ON’s efforts to buy Madrid-based power group Endesa, while political maneuvering is widely held to be the driving force behind the Gaz de France-Suez tie-up.

Incoming Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has already stated that energy security is one of his top priorities. Datamonitor research shows that some 91% of Polish gas supply comes from the former Soviet Union, through Gazprom-controlled pipelines.

The construction of the North European Gas Pipeline has intensified fears that Poland’s supply from Russia could be squeezed as the main route for gas to western Europe will no longer pass over its territory.