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IP/08/411

Brussels, 10 March 2008

Company law: Commission holds conference on the European Private Company

The European Commission is holding a conference today on the European Private Company ("Societas Privata Europaea", SPE). Speakers will discuss the economic advantages of a new European company form dedicated to SMEs and the content of the future Statute. Some 120 participants from 24 Member States are expected to attend, representing businesses, public administrations, academic circles and advisory professions.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "If we want to help SMEs to make the most of the Internal Market, we have to come up with flexible instruments that meet their needs. To do this, we need to hear stakeholders' views. The conference presents a great opportunity to exchange views and share ideas on the European Private Company."
The conference can be followed via webstreaming at:

http://scic.ec.europa.eu/streaming/char

Background

The main objective of the initiative on the European Private Company Statute is to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to extend their business to other Member States and reap the benefits of the Internal Market. The SPE Statute was identified as one of the mid-term measures foreseen in the EU Company Law and Corporate Governance Action Plan adopted in 2003 and was given considerable support in a subsequent public consultation on the future of the Action Plan.

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

In July 2007, the Commission published a questionnaire on the problems companies – in particular SMEs – face when conducting cross-border business in the EU and on the content of the Statute. The European Business Test Panel was consulted at the same time.

In October 2007, Commissioner McCreevy announced his intention to present a proposal on the European Private Company by mid-2008.
The conference programme and more information on the SPE are available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/company/epc/index_en.htm


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