Support for policy development - Reference documents
"He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery" - Samuel Smiles
Overcoming the stigma of business failure - implementing the EU's growth and jobs strategy
Measures to remove the barriers to entrepreneurs starting afresh after having gone bankrupt.
Regulation 1346/2000 on insolvency proceedings
Jurisdiction for opening cross-border insolvency proceedings and recognition of judgments delivered.
- Directive 2002/74 on the protection of employees in insolvency cases
- Directive 2001/17 on reorganising and winding-up insurance companies
- Guidelines on government aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty
- Directive 2001/24 on reorganising and winding up credit institutions
2009-2010 – EU project on Bankruptcy and second chance
2008 – Commission Communication "A Small Business Act for Europe"COM(2008) 394 final
The Small Business Act for Europe recognised the importance of acting to support a second chance in Europe and declared that "Ensure that honest entrepreneurs who have faced bankruptcy quickly get a second chance" was one of the 10 principles (Principle II) required to "improve the legal and administrative environment throughout the EU" within this principle it asked Member States to:
- promote a positive attitude in society towards giving entrepreneurs a fresh start, for example through public information campaigns
- aim to complete all legal procedures to wind up the business in the case of non-fraudulent bankruptcy within a year
- ensure that re-starters are treated on an equal footing with new start-ups, including in support schemes.
2007 – Commission Communication "Overcoming the stigma of business failure – for a second chance policy"COM(2007) 584 final
2006 - EU conference on insolvency and a fresh start
Focusing on preventing bankruptcy, destigmatising business failure and encouraging failed entrepreneurs to start again.
2004 - EU project to develop
- information kits on business failure
- early warning tools for owners to assess the health of their business
2003 - Benchmarking project on business failure
An expert group assessed the legal and social consequences of business failure based on the conclusions of the 2001 seminar on business failure and the 2002 study on bankruptcy and a fresh start.
Full report [722 KB] (2003)
Summary report [416 KB] (2003)
2002 - Study on bankruptcy and a fresh start
A study of the legal and social consequences of business failure / bankruptcy in the EU and USA, and their effects on entrepreneurship.
The study makes recommendations and proposes a set of indicators to assess legal obstacles to saving a businesses or starting afresh after a bankruptcy.
- Full study [2 MB] (2002)
National reports (EU):
|Austria [144 KB]||Belgium [82 KB]||Denmark [223 KB]||Germany [84 KB]||Finland [99 KB]|
|France [80 KB]||Greece [113 KB]||Ireland [94 KB]||Italy [68 KB]||Luxembourg [131 KB]|
|Netherlands [154 KB]||Portugal [99 KB]||Spain [145 KB]||Sweden [74 KB]||United Kingdom [95 KB]|
- National report - USA [96 KB]
2001 brochure - Helping businesses overcome financial difficulties
- expert recommendations on restructuring, bankruptcy and making a fresh start
- guidelines for ensuring insolvency and creditors' rights systems work effectively
- case studies [2 MB] on legal issues and support schemes.
2001 - seminar on business failure
(Printed copies in EN available on request)