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Company law: Commission consults businesses on possible European Private Company Statute

European Commission - IP/07/1146   20/07/2007

Other available languages: FR DE

IP/07/1146

Brussels, 19 July 2007

Company law: Commission consults businesses on possible European Private Company Statute

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the obstacles companies – in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – face when conducting cross-border business in the EU and on the content of a possible European Private Company Statute. Responses will be taken into account in a forthcoming impact assessment and possible legislative proposal. The deadline for responses is 31 October 2007.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "If we want European businesses to reap the full benefits of the Single Market, we must provide them with the most appropriate means. The European Private Company may be the right way forward. But first we need to have a clear picture of the obstacles companies still face in the Single Market and to find out whether a possible Statute could be a viable solution. So I encourage all interested parties, and in particular SMEs, to give us their views."

The questionnaire

The questionnaire is divided in two sets of questions:

  • The first set is addressed to businesses, and in particular to the management of SMEs and larger companies. These questions ask for evidence of the legal and other barriers companies face when they conduct business through an establishment (subsidiary or branch) in another Member State. Respondents' views are also requested on the appropriateness of a new European legal form.
  • The second set is more legal in approach and aims at gathering stakeholders' opinions on the content of a possible Statute.

How to take part

The questionnaire is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/company/epc/index_en.htm

Responses should be sent by 31 October 2007 to DG MARKT Unit F2, European Commission, B-1049 Brussels or to Markt-F2@ec.europa.eu

Unless an explicit request for confidentiality is made, contributions will be treated as documents that the Commission can make public.

Background

The initiative on the European Private Company Statute was identified as one of the mid-term measures foreseen in the EU Company Law and Corporate Governance Action Plan adopted in 2003. The objective is to make it easier for European SMEs to conduct cross-border business by providing them with a European legal form, uniform in each Member State. Considerable support for this initiative was confirmed in the public consultation on the future of the Company Law and Corporate Governance Action Plan (December 2005 to March 2006).

In February 2007 the European Parliament adopted a resolution requesting the European Commission to draw up a uniform Statute for an EPC. Recommendations as to the possible content of the Statute are annexed to the Resolution (2006/2013(INI)).


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