úterý 6. února 2018

Nařízení EU o prověřování zahraničních investic

Evropská komise připravila návrh nového mechanizmu, který bude koordinovat národní systémy prověřování přímých zahraničních investic v EU z hlediska ochrany národní bezpečnosti. Obecně je tento krok interpretován jako ochrana před agresivními investicemi čínských polostátních fondů do evropských technologických firem. Po kauzách německých společností Kuka a Aixtron je evidentní, že se jedná o reálný problém.

V roce 2016 koupila čínská společnost Midea největšího německého výrobce průmyslových robotů za 5 miliard Euro, kauza vyvolala obavy z prodeje evropského technologického know-how na východ. Následně chtěla další čínská společnost Fujian Grand Chip Investment koupit německého výrobce počítačových čipů Aixtron, který se podílí i na výrobě komponentů pro rakety Patriot. Prodej americké pobočky Aixtronu však zablokovala americká vláda a následně celou transakci zastavilo i Německo.

V poslední době se kontrola zahraničních investic ve světě zpřísňuje. Německá vláda po výše uvedených kauzách loni v létě schválila návrh rozšíření kritérií, podle kterých zahraniční investice posuzuje. Už nepůjde pouze o transakce týkající se národní bezpečnosti, ale o mnohem širší otázku kritické infrastruktury. Kromě Německa legislativu zpřísňuje například i Austrálie, Velká Británie nebo USA. O americkém systému CFIUS jsem na JP už psal. Pak i zde a zde.

Návrh Nařízení o prověřování přímých zahraničních investic

Aktuální návrh Komise ohledně tzv. “framework for screening of foreign direct investments” (text viz níže) prý tlačí především Německo, Francie a Itálie. Některé země (údajně např. Irsko, Řecko, Španělsko, severské země a Portugalsko) jsou spíše skeptické. Rozptyl úprav této otázky v zemích EU je opravdu velký. Například čeští sousedé Německo, Polsko i Rakousko (celkem asi 12 zemí EU) již mechanismus kontroly zahraničních investic mají upravený. Řada zemí, včetně ČR, nemá žádný.

Nové nařízení by umožnilo Komisi prověřovat, ale ne zastavit, zahraniční investice v EU a vydávat nezávazná stanoviska pro členské státy, ve kterých by k investici mělo dojít. Došlo by k jakési koordinaci podobných mechanizmů u jednotlivých států, k výměně informací a vyjasnění unijního zájmu v této oblasti.

Nařízení se týká širokého rozptylu investic a zahrnuje investice mimoevropských investorů, které zakládají trvalé a přímé vazby s cílovou společností za účelem provádění hospodářské činnosti v EU, a to včetně investic umožňujících efektivní účast na řízení a kontrole společnosti. Zřejmě tak nařízení zahrnuje nejen přímé investice, ale i akvizice mimoevropských společností, které mají dcery v EU.

Komise by měla možnost kontrolovat investice, které mohou ovlivnit „unijní zájem“, a to z pohledu veřejného pořádku a bezpečnosti. Jedná se především o projekty financované EU nebo považované za kritickou infrastrukturu. Komise by následně mohla vydat k investici stanovisko, které členský stát nicméně nemusí poslechnout. V takovém případě však stát musí své rozhodnutí vysvětlit.

Problémy?

Návrh nařízení sice nepřikazuje členským zemím začít zahraniční investice posuzovat, ale přichází se základními kritérii pro takovou národní legislativu. Jedná se o požadavky na transparentnost, nediskriminaci a možnost soudního přezkumu. To ale podle mého názoru může být celkem problém. Jak jsem psal v případě jedné americké kauzy, v otázkách národní bezpečnosti zřejmě nebude vždy možné investorovi dát nahlédnout všechny podklady, na základě kterých je jeho investice považovaná za nebezpečnou. Jak pak zajistit soudní přezkum? Ten tedy musí být nutně omezený. Podobně i s principy nediskriminace a transparentnosti.

Příkladem výše uvedeného může být praxe v USA u CFIUS nebo i v jiných oblastech. Fascinující je například kauza ruské softwarové firmy Kasperky, kterou Izraelci chytili, jak skrze její antivirové programy špehují své cíle ruské tajné služby. USA následně zakázaly svým úřadům používat software Kaspersky, proti čemuž se Kaspersky brání u soudu. Nemyslím si, že by Kaspersky měl šanci před soudem například nahlédnout do dokumentů, které na něj vede NSA.

Ale zpět do Evropy. Podle některých názorů nové nařízení přiměje některé země EU, aby vlastní mechanismus založily také. Uvidíme, co na to ČR. Konečná verze nařízení bude účinná zřejmě nejdříve za dva roky.

Tento článek vychází z mého komentáře pro iHNed.



Prozatímní verze nařízení je zde.
Řada zajímavých dokumentů zde.

Klíčová část návrhu nařízení zní následovně:

Article 1 - Subject matter and scope
This Regulation establishes a framework for the screening by the Member States and the Commission of foreign direct investments in the Union on the grounds of security or public order.

Article 2 - Definition
For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:
1. 'foreign direct investment' means investments of any kind by a foreign investor aiming to establish or to maintain lasting and direct links between the foreign investor and the entrepreneur to whom or the undertaking to which the capital is made available in order to carry on an economic activity in a Member State, including investments which enable effective participation in the management or control of a company carrying out an economic activity;
2. 'foreign investor' means a natural person of a third country or an undertaking of a third country intending to make or having made a foreign direct investment;
3. 'screening' means a procedure allowing to assess, investigate, authorise, condition, prohibit or unwind foreign direct investments;
4. 'screening mechanism' means an instrument of general application, such as a law or regulation, and accompanying administrative requirements, implementing rules or guidelines, setting out the terms, conditions and procedures for the screening of foreign direct investments on grounds of security or public order;
5. 'screening decision' means a measure adopted in application of a screening mechanism;
6. 'undertaking of a third country' means an undertaking constituted or otherwise organised under the laws of a third country.

Article 3 - Screening of foreign direct investments
1. Member States may maintain, amend or adopt mechanisms to screen foreign direct investments on the grounds of security or public order, under the conditions and in accordance with the terms set out in this Regulation.
2. The Commission may screen foreign direct investments that are likely to affect projects or programmes of Union interest on the grounds of security or public order.
3. Projects or programmes of Union interest shall include in particular those projects and programmes which involve a substantial amount or a significant share of EU funding, or which are covered by Union legislation regarding critical infrastructure, critical technologies or critical inputs. An indicative list of projects or programmes of Union interest is included in Annex 1.

Article 4 - Factors that may be taken into consideration in the screening
In screening a foreign direct investment on the grounds of security or public order, Member States and the Commission may consider the potential effects on, inter alia:
–critical infrastructure, including energy, transport, communications, data storage, space or financial infrastructure, as well as sensitive facilities;
–critical technologies, including artificial intelligence, robotics, semiconductors, technologies with potential dual use applications, cybersecurity, space or nuclear technology;
–the security of supply of critical inputs; or
–access to sensitive information or the ability to control sensitive information.
In determining whether a foreign direct investment is likely to affect security or public order, Member States and the Commission may take into account whether the foreign investor is controlled by the government of a third country, including through significant funding.

Article 5 - Anti-circumvention
Member States may maintain, amend or adopt measures necessary to prevent circumvention of the screening mechanisms and screening decisions.

Article 6 - Framework for Member States' screening
1. Member States' screening mechanisms shall be transparent and not discriminate between third countries. In particular, Member States shall set out the circumstances triggering the screening, the grounds for screening and the applicable detailed procedural rules.
2. Member States shall establish timeframes for issuing screening decisions. Such timeframes shall allow them to take into account the comments of Member States referred to in Article 8 and the opinion of the Commission referred to in Articles 8 and 9.
3. Confidential information, including commercially-sensitive information, made available by foreign investors and undertaking concerned shall be protected.
4. Foreign investors and undertakings concerned shall have the possibility to seek judicial redress against screening decisions of the national authorities.

Article 7 - Notification by Member States of screening mechanisms and annual reporting
1. Member States shall notify to the Commission their existing screening mechanisms by […] (30 days of the entry into force of this Regulation) at the latest. Member States shall notify to the Commission any amendment to an existing screening mechanism or any newly adopted screening mechanism within 30 days of entry into force of the screening mechanism at the latest.
2. Member States that maintain screening mechanisms shall provide the Commission with an annual report on the application of their screening mechanisms. For each reporting period, the report shall include in particular information on:
(a) foreign direct investments screened and undergoing screening;
(b) screening decisions prohibiting foreign direct investments;
(c) screening decisions subjecting foreign direct investments to conditions or mitigating measures;
(d) the sectors, origin, and value of foreign direct investment screened and undergoing screening.
3. Member States that do not maintain screening mechanisms shall provide the Commission with an annual report covering foreign directs investments that took place in their territory, on the basis of information available to them.

Article 8 - Cooperation mechanism
1. Member States shall inform the Commission and the other Member States of any foreign direct investments that are undergoing screening within the framework of their screening mechanisms, within 5 working days from the start of the screening. As part of the information, and when applicable, the screening Member States shall endeavour to indicate whether it considers that the foreign direct investment undergoing screening is likely to fall within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 139/2004.
2. Where a Member State considers that a foreign direct investment planned or completed in another Member State is likely to affect its security or public order, it may provide comments to the Member State where the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed. The comments shall be forwarded to the Commission in parallel.
3. Where the Commission considers that a foreign direct investment is likely to affect security or public order in one or more Member States, it may issue an opinion addressed to the Member State in which the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed. The Commission may issue an opinion irrespective of whether other Member States have provided comments.
4. The Commission or a Member State which duly considers that a foreign direct investment is likely to affect its security or public order may request from the Member State where the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed, any information necessary to provide comments referred to in paragraph 2, or to issue the opinion referred to in paragraph 3.
5. Comments pursuant to paragraphs 2 or opinions pursuant to paragraph 3 shall be addressed to the Member State where the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed within a reasonable period of time, and in any case no later than 25 working days following receipt of the information referred to in paragraphs 1 or 4. In cases where the opinion of the Commission follows comments from other Member States, the Commission shall have 25 additional working days for issuing the opinion.
6. The Member States where the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed shall give due consideration to the comments of the other Member States referred to in paragraph 2 and to the opinion of the Commission referred to in paragraph 3.
7. Cooperation between Member States pursuant to this Article shall take place through the contact points referred to in Article 12.

Article 9 - Framework for Commission screening
1. Where the Commission considers that a foreign direct investment is likely to affect projects or programmes of Union interest on grounds of security or public order, the Commission may issue an opinion addressed to the Member State where the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed.
2. The Commission may request from the Member State where the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed any information necessary to issue the opinion referred to in paragraph 1.
3. The Commission shall address its opinion to the Member State concerned within a reasonable period of time, and in any case no later than 25 working days following receipt of the information requested by the Commission pursuant to paragraph 2. Where a Member State has a screening mechanism in place as referred to in Article 3(1) and the information on foreign direct investment undergoing screening has been received by the Commission pursuant to Article 8(1), the opinion shall be delivered no later than 25 working days following receipt of such information. Where additional information is needed to issue an opinion, the 25-day period shall run from the date of receipt of the additional information.
4. The opinion of the Commission shall be communicated to the other Member States.
5. The Member States where the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed shall take utmost account of the Commission's opinion and provide an explanation to the Commission in case its opinion is not followed.

Article 10 - Information requirements
1. Member States shall ensure that the information requested by the Commission and other Member States pursuant to Articles 8(4) and 9(2) is made available to the Commission and the requesting Member States without undue delay.
2. The information referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall include in particular:
(a) The ownership structure of the foreign investor and of the undertaking in which the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed, including information on the ultimate controlling shareholder or shareholders;
(b) The value of the foreign direct investment;
(c) The products, services and business operations of the foreign investor and of the undertaking in which the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed ;
(d) The Member States in which the foreign investor and the undertaking in which the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed conduct business operations;
(e) The funding of the investment, on the basis of information available to the Member State.

Article 11 - Confidentiality
1. Information received as a result of the application of this Regulation shall be used only for the purpose for which it was requested.
2. Member States and the Commission shall ensure the protection of confidential information acquired in application of this Regulation.

Article 12 - Contact points
Each Member State shall appoint a foreign direct investment screening contact point ('FDI screening contact point') for the screening of foreign direct investment. The Commission and other Member States shall involve these FDI screening contact points on all issues related to implementation of this Regulation.

Article 13 - Evaluation
1. The Commission shall evaluate and present to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the application of this Regulation no later than 3 years after its entry into force. Member States shall be involved in this exercise and shall provide the Commission with necessary information for the preparation of that report.
2. Where the report recommends modifying the provisions of the Regulation, the report may be accompanied by an appropriate legislative proposal.

Article 14 - Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Done at Brussels,






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