To complete Europe’s internal market, companies must have the option of planning and reorganising their business on an EU scale. A 'European company' (SE) status, with its own legislative framework, is the aim of an EU Regulation (2157/2001). This will allow companies incorporated in different Member States to merge or form a holding company or joint subsidiary, while avoiding the legal and practical constraints arising from the existence of different national legal systems.
The legislative framework also provides for the involvement of employees in European companies. This is the subject of a special supplementary Directive (2001/86/EC). It sets out to ensure that the establishment of an SE will not mean the disappearance or watering down of existing employee involvement arrangements in the companies concerned. So it calls for a set of rules in this field, preferably through agreement between the employer and the representatives of employees; in the absence of agreement, subsidiary rules are foreseen. Procedures for the information and consultation, as well as, if applicable, participation of employees at transnational level must be ensured whenever an SE is created.
The texts of the Regulation and the supplementary Directive are available, as are a preparatory document and various implementation studies.
*Please note that these are unofficial English language translations and that only the original language versions contain the authoritative text.