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Public consultations

Consultation on an effective insolvency framework within the EU

Related topics

Civil Justice

date:  23/03/2016 - 14/06/2016

Period of consultation

From 23 March 2016 to 14 June 2016 (12 weeks)

Policy context of the consultation

An appropriate insolvency framework is important for investors, creditors, and debtors. The lack of a harmonised approach to insolvency prevents the proper functioning and development of capital markets, and therefore it is necessary to address the issue at EU level.

The Capital Markets Union Action Plan states that the Commission will propose a legislative initiative on business insolvency, including early restructuring and second chance, drawing on the experience of the Commission Recommendation on a new approach to business failure and insolvency addressed to the Member States  (the "Insolvency Recommendation") adopted on 12 March 2014. The initiative would seek to address the most important barriers to the free flow of capital, building on national regimes that work well. This finding has been confirmed by the Five-Presidents'-Report on "Completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union" which lists insolvency laws among the most important bottlenecks preventing the integration of capital markets  and therefore to be addressed as a priority. The Single Market Strategy foresees an initiative regarding second chance.

The Insolvency Recommendation of 2014 aims at establishing minimum standards for (1) preventive restructuring procedures enabling debtors in financial difficulty to restructure at an early stage with the objective of avoiding their insolvency, and (2) discharge periods for honest bankrupt entrepreneurs, debt discharge being one of the necessary steps in providing them with a second chance. The Insolvency Recommendation suggests that its main principles could also be applied to consumer insolvency. The Member States were invited to implement the Recommendation by 14 March 2015. A few Member States have undertaken reforms following the Recommendation; however these reforms implement only partially the recommendation of the Commission. Following the evaluation of the implementation of the recommendation, the Commission has engaged in preparing a legislative initiative as mentioned in the Capital Markets Union Action Plan referred to above.

Objective of the consultation

This consultation seeks stakeholders' views on key insolvency aspects. In particular, it seeks views with regard to common principles and standards which could ensure that national insolvency frameworks work well, especially in a cross-border context.

The responses will be used to identify which aspects may possibly be dealt with in the legislative initiative  and which in other possible complimentary actions in this field. However, the results of the consultation are without prejudice to any action the Commission may take in this field.

The responses will be taken into account in the Commission’s impact assessment report in parallel with the results of an external study carried out for the Commission and other available information.

Who can reply to this consultation?

It is important for the European Commission to obtain views and input from the broadest public possible.

Contributions are particularly sought from citizens, companies (including SMEs and entrepreneurs), business associations, public authorities, consumer organisations, as well as insolvency practitioners, researchers and think tanks, courts and public administrative bodies at international, EU-wide, national, regional and/or local levels. Comments from other stakeholders who have any experience or knowledge on restructuring and/or insolvency are also welcome.

How to submit your contribution?

This consultation questionnaire can be filled out online and respondents are strongly encouraged to make use of this electronic tool when replying. Replies submitted by email or on paper to the addresses indicated below will also be taken into account.

It is not compulsory to answer all questions. Even if you are not an expert, please feel free to answer as many questions as you consider appropriate. In any case, please note that we cannot guarantee to be able to take account of replies received after the deadline of 14 June 2016.

All contributions will be published on the website of the European Commission, subject to data protection rules and the restrictions applicable to organisations.

In the interest of transparency, the Commission asks organisations that wish to submit comments in the context of public consultations to provide the Commission and the public at large with information about whom and what they represent by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If an organisation decides not to provide this information, it is the Commission's stated policy to list the contribution as part of the individual contributions (Consultation Standards, see COM (2002) 704, and Communication on ETI Follow-up, see COM (2007) 127 of 21/03/2007).

If you are a registered organisation, please indicate your Register ID number in the Transparency Register when replying to the online questionnaire. Your contribution will then be considered as representative of the views of your organisation.

If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to REGISTER NOW. Then you can return to this page and submit your contribution as a registered organisation.

Replies to Questionnaire:

• Backgroundpdf(229 kB)

Contact details for more information

Responsible service: DG Justice, Unit A1 – Civil Justice Policy


Postal address:  European Commission
Directorate-general Justice
Unit A 1 Civil Justice Policy - Secretariat
Rue Montoyer 59, 2/74
1049 BRUSSELS, Belgium

Please always indicate the following subject line in your correspondence CONSULTATION ON INSOLVENCY II

Data Protection Disclaimer

Incoming contributions will be published on the Commission website. It is possible to request that submissions remain confidential. In this case, contributors should expressly state in their submission that they oppose publication.
For further information on privacy rulings for this public consultation see the following Specific Privacy Statementpdf(18 kB)

Thank you for your participation!