Company law and corporate governance
The purpose of EU rules in this area is to
- enable businesses to be set up anywhere in the EU
- provide protection for shareholders and other parties with a particular interest in companies
- make business more efficient and competitive
- encourage businesses based in different EU countries to cooperate with each other.
EU rules on accounting and reporting complement this legal framework.
Better corporate governance for companies
In April 2014 the European Commission presented:
- a proposal for the revision of the Shareholder Rights Directive (FAQ,Impact Assessment Executive summary,Impact Assessment, Citizens' summary ), to tackle corporate governance shortcomings related to the behaviour of companies and their boards, shareholders, intermediaries and proxy advisors
- a Recommendation on the quality of corporate governance reporting by listed companies ('comply or explain'), and
- a proposal for a Directive on single-member private limited liability companies (FAQ,Impact Assessment Executive summary,Impact Assessment, Citizens' summary ) to facilitate the creation of companies with a single shareholder across the EU
Informal Company Law Expert Group
The group will assist the Commission in the preparation of new company law initiatives. The expertise of its members should help, in particular, to improve existing mechanisms for cross-border mergers and to develop initiatives on cross-border divisions and “groups of companies”.
- The European Commission's Action Plan on company law and corporate governance, adopted in December 2012, outlines several initiatives that could help create a modern legal framework for business, enabling shareholders to play a more active role and resulting in more sustainable companies.
On 2 October the EU Justice and Consumers Commissioner Vera Jurova provided a keynote address to the Company Law in the Digital Age conference in Brussels.
Participants included Members of the European Parliament, EU Member States, and relevant national and international organisations.