The purpose of this consultation is to collect views from all interested stakeholders on the future of European company law. All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute.
European company law is a cornerstone of the internal market. EU company law has evolved significantly over the last 40 years.
The scope of EU harmonisation covers: the protection of interest of shareholders and others, the constitution and maintenance of public limited-liability companies' capital, takeover bids, branches disclosure, mergers and divisions, minimum rules for single-member private limited-liability companies, shareholders' rights and related areas such as financial reporting and accounting.
Considerable work has also been accomplished on different legal forms such as the European Company (SE), the European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) and the European Cooperative Society (SCE).
In recent times, however, the adoption of European company law initiatives has become more difficult.
These difficulties are, for example, illustrated by the lack of progress on some simplification initiatives and on the proposed statute of the European Private Company (SPE).
Nevertheless, at the same time, the cross-border dimension of business has grown tremendously both from a company and from a consumer perspective.
Against this backdrop, DG Internal Market and Services launched a reflection exercise at the end of 2010 with the creation of an ad hoc reflection group composed of eminent academics.
This group presented a report to the Commission which contained a number of recommendations for action.
The report was discussed at a public conference in Brussels on 16 and 17 May 2011.
The Commission now wishes to launch a public consultation to seek views from all stakeholders on European company law from 2012 onwards.
The European Commission will announce in mid-2012 possible initiatives on corporate governance and company law.