Table of Contents
PART III: THE POLICIES AND FUNCTIONING OF THE UNION
TITLE III - INTERNAL POLICIES AND ACTION
CHAPTER I - INTERNAL MARKET
SECTION 4 - CAPITAL AND PAYMENTS
Within the framework of this Section, restrictions both on the movement of capital and on payments between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited.
1. Article III-156 shall be without prejudice to the application to third countries
of any restrictions which existed on 31 December 1993 under national or Union
law adopted in respect of the movement of capital to or from third countries
involving direct investment – including investment in real estate, establishment,
the provision of financial services or the admission of securities to capital
markets. With regard to restrictions which exist under national law in Estonia
and Hungary, the date in question shall be 31 December 1999.
2. European laws or framework laws shall enact measures on the movement of capital to or from third countries involving direct investment – including investment in real estate, establishment, the provision of financial services or the admission of securities to capital markets.
The European Parliament and the Council shall endeavour to achieve the objective of free movement of capital between Member States and third countries to the greatest extent possible and without prejudice to other provisions of the Constitution.
3. Notwithstanding paragraph 2, only a European law or framework law of the Council may enact measures which constitute a step backwards in Union law as regards the liberalisation of the movement of capital to or from third countries. The Council shall act unanimously after consulting the European Parliament.
1. Article III-156 shall be without prejudice to the right of Member States:
(a) to apply the relevant provisions of their tax law which distinguish between taxpayers who are not in the same situation with regard to their place of residence or with regard to the place where their capital is invested;
(b) to take all requisite measures to prevent infringements of national provisions laid down by law or regulation, in particular in the field of taxation and the prudential supervision of financial institutions, or to lay down procedures for the declaration of capital movements for purposes of administrative or statistical information, or to take measures which are justified on grounds of public policy or public security.
2. This Section shall be without prejudice to the applicability of restrictions on the right of establishment which are compatible with the Constitution.
3. The measures and procedures referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not constitute a means of arbitrary discrimination or a disguised restriction on the free movement of capital and payments as defined in Article III-156.
4. In the absence of a European law or framework law provided for in Article III-157(3), the Commission or, in the absence of a European decision of the Commission within three months from the request of the Member State concerned, the Council, may adopt a European decision stating that restrictive tax measures adopted by a Member State concerning one or more third countries are to be considered compatible with the Constitution insofar as they are justified by one of the objectives of the Union and compatible with the proper functioning of the internal market. The Council shall act unanimously on application by a Member State.
Where, in exceptional circumstances, movements of capital to or from third countries cause, or threaten to cause, serious difficulties for the functioning of economic and monetary union, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt European regulations or decisions introducing safeguard measures with regard to third countries for a period not exceeding six months if such measures are strictly necessary. It shall act after consulting the European Central Bank.
Where necessary to achieve the objectives set out in Article III-257, as regards preventing and combating terrorism and related activities, European laws shall define a framework for administrative measures with regard to capital movements and payments, such as the freezing of funds, financial assets or economic gains belonging to, or owned or held by, natural or legal persons, groups or non-State entities.
The Council, on a proposal from the Commission, shall adopt European regulations or European decisions in order to implement the European laws referred to in the first paragraph.
The acts referred to in this Article shall include necessary provisions on legal safeguards.