The anti-TVN bill was returned to the Parliamentary Culture and Media Committee. During Wednesday’s meeting, MP from the Civic Coalition, Wojciech Król, announced that he had received a reply from the Legislative Office regarding the Kukiz’15 amendment. The opinion concerns the interpretation of the concept of a direct or indirect share of the State Treasury. Kukiz’15 proposed to rule out the possibility of buying private media by state-owned companies and subsidiaries.
On Wednesday, the deputies discussed the draft amendment to the Broadcasting Act called the lex anti-TVN. In the opinion of commentators, the PiS project targets the independence of TVN. Many journalists, politicians and institutions protested against the changes in the media law.
In connection with the proposed amendments, the lex anti-TVN project was referred to the Parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media.
During the Wednesday’s meeting of the committee, there was a request for a break of at least two weeks in the meeting. The reason is the issue related to the interpretation of the amendment by Kukiz’15, which is to exclude the possibility of buying private media by State Treasury companies and subsidiaries. Wojciech Król from Koalicja Obywatelska asked the Legislative Office of the Sejm at the end of July, “Is the subsidiary, the so-called subsidiary, is a subsidiary of the State Treasury company under the regulations a State Treasury company or not?”
The KO deputy announced during the Wednesday meeting that he had received a reply from the Legislative Office. – Mr Chairman, I would like to make a formal request for a break, at least for two weeks – maybe this time will be enough – because I have just received an opinion from the Legislative Office and I would firstly like to analyze it calmly, read its content in detail. However, after reading this opinion so quickly, new questions arise – emphasized Wojciech Król. However, the request for a break was rejected.
Companies with the Treasury shareholding
The Legislative Office pointed out that the amendment proposed by Kukiz’15 does not contain the term “daughter company or subsidiary”, but the term “company with direct or indirect share of the State Treasury”. “Such a company means a commercial law company in which the State Treasury holds shares or stocks, but it does not have to be a majority stake” – we read in the answer.
As explained, companies with State Treasury shareholding is a category that includes “sole shareholder companies of the State Treasury in which the State Treasury is the sole shareholder; companies with a majority or minority shareholding of the State Treasury.
The Legislative Office emphasized that companies with the State Treasury share “are only companies with direct capital share of the State Treasury”. At the same time, it was noted that “the concept of an ‘indirect State Treasury share’ was not defined in the Broadcasting Act of December 29, 1992 (or in the draft amendment), but in Article 11a (3) of the Act of February 15, 1992. on income tax from legal persons “.
Legislative Office – opinion
In the opinion of the Legislative Office, the wording used in the amendment Kukiz’15 “prohibiting the acquisition of shares by a ‘company with a direct or indirect share of the State Treasury’ on the basis of a literal interpretation seems to mean that even a minority share of the State Treasury in the company and even a minority share of the State Treasury in the company” , which has a minority stake in another company, will determine the inclusion of these companies in the acquisition ban for the purpose of selling or acquiring shares or stocks of the company from a foreign person or a subsidiary, referred to in Article 35 (3) of the Broadcasting Act and television “.
“Regardless of the above, it should be remembered that in the event of a dispute, the assessment of the validity of the legal transaction of acquiring shares or stocks (…), in the event of the entry into force of the bill under consideration, will be made by the court” – it was recalled in the reply.
The opinion – as we read – was approved by the deputy director of the Legislative Office Maciej Lewandowski.
Main photo source: PAP / Wojciech Olkuśnik