The European Commission launched a public consultation on modernising EU rules governing insolvencies.
The existing rules (the Insolvency Regulation) date from 2000 and set out how bankruptcies – of companies or individuals – should be coordinated between several EU countries.
The results of the consultation will help determine whether and how the existing Regulation needs to be revised in order to bolster businesses and strengthen the EU's Single Market.
It forms part of the EU's efforts to preserve jobs and to promote economic recovery, sustainable growth and a higher investment rate, as set out in the Europe 2020 strategy.
Insolvencies are a fact of life in a dynamic, modern economy. Around half of enterprises survive less than five years.
In 2010, a total of 220,000 businesses went into liquidation in the EU.
This means that some 600 companies in Europe went bust every day. This trend continued in 2011.
It is therefore essential to have modern laws and efficient procedures in place to help businesses, which have sufficient economic substance, overcome financial difficulties and to get a "second chance".