In July 2020, Polish Parliament passed an amendment to the Act on Control of Certain Investments of 24 July 2015, which entered into force on 24 July 2020 (the Amendment). That Amendment has extended the scope of government’s control over the acquisition of stakes in Polish entities. Investors from outside of the EEA, EU, or OECDwould need to obtain clearance for the acquisition of a stake in Polish companies (or partnerships) carrying out business in sectors that the government has identified as being of strategic importance.
The concept behind the Amendment was not originally domestic – the Polish government responded to the EU call to protect the “European crown jewels” from buyouts by non-EU investors at lowered price while the lowered valuations were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. EU law (regulation 2019/452), however, does not provide for a centralised system of control over the foreign investments, but rather the information exchange network between member states. Member states are allowed to implement the measures of screening the foreign direct investments in their territory on the grounds of security or public order. Many EU countries have provisions regarding some form of control over foreign investments, allowing the national governments to monitor and, in certain cases, object investments if these are considered undesired for various reasons.