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Digital tools and processes in company law

10-04-2019

The possibility for companies to operate in a favourable legal and administrative environment is crucial for economic growth. Companies already use digital tools in their interaction with administrations; however, they do so to differing degrees depending on the Member State. At the April II plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on the compromise text agreed following trilogue negotiations. The aim is to harmonise and foster the use of digital tools at the various stages in a company's lifecycle ...

The possibility for companies to operate in a favourable legal and administrative environment is crucial for economic growth. Companies already use digital tools in their interaction with administrations; however, they do so to differing degrees depending on the Member State. At the April II plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on the compromise text agreed following trilogue negotiations. The aim is to harmonise and foster the use of digital tools at the various stages in a company's lifecycle.

Cooperatives: Characteristics, activities, status, challenges

26-02-2019

Cooperatives are autonomous associations of people aspiring to achieve their objectives through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. International organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union (EU), value the role cooperatives play for society, the economy and (international) development. There are 3 million cooperatives worldwide; together, they provide employment for 280 million people, equating to 10 % of the world's employed population. The 300 largest ...

Cooperatives are autonomous associations of people aspiring to achieve their objectives through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. International organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union (EU), value the role cooperatives play for society, the economy and (international) development. There are 3 million cooperatives worldwide; together, they provide employment for 280 million people, equating to 10 % of the world's employed population. The 300 largest cooperatives and mutuals in the world had a total turnover of US$2.018 trillion in 2016. In the EU there are some 131 000 cooperatives, with more than 4.3 million employees and an annual turnover of €992 billion. While cooperatives have grown in importance for the (social) economy over the past four decades, they face both long-standing and new challenges, resulting from globalisation or the presence of myriad national laws, but also from organisational and governance issues. Cooperatives have become more product-based and less region-based (in terms of member representation). In addition, cross-border-oriented cooperatives and producer organisations often experience legal uncertainty because of the absence or inconsistent application of international legislation. Policy- and law-makers are currently discussing a number of initiatives aimed at creating a level playing field for cooperatives, both in the EU and globally, that would allow them to compete with investor-oriented firms without giving up their social and cultural orientation. An enabling European legal framework could provide transversal recognition of the cooperative business model across the different sectors of the economy. While small and emerging cooperatives need more targeted funding, and assistance with capacity-building and organisational aspects, larger cooperatives require more EU and national-level support in order to achieve their aims in terms of professionalisation.

Cross-border mobility of companies and use of digital solutions in company law

12-09-2018

In order to facilitate the freedom of establishment for companies, the Commission is proposing rules regarding the use of digital tools and processes throughout companies’ lifecycles and rules regarding cross-border conversions, mergers and divisions. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposals observes that the impact assessment is very wide in scope and hence quite complex, but nevertheless manages to make a persuasive case to back the regulatory action being proposed ...

In order to facilitate the freedom of establishment for companies, the Commission is proposing rules regarding the use of digital tools and processes throughout companies’ lifecycles and rules regarding cross-border conversions, mergers and divisions. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposals observes that the impact assessment is very wide in scope and hence quite complex, but nevertheless manages to make a persuasive case to back the regulatory action being proposed

New EU insolvency rules give troubled businesses a chance to start anew

19-06-2018

In 2012, the Commission proposed to recast the 2000 Insolvency Regulation in order to address the cross-border aspects of insolvency in the EU. Adopted in 2015, the recast regulation introduced clear rules on the jurisdiction and law applicable to a debtor's insolvency proceedings and made mandatory the recognition of those proceedings in other EU Member States. Its remit was expanded to include not only bankruptcy but also hybrid and pre-insolvency proceedings, as well as debt discharges and debt ...

In 2012, the Commission proposed to recast the 2000 Insolvency Regulation in order to address the cross-border aspects of insolvency in the EU. Adopted in 2015, the recast regulation introduced clear rules on the jurisdiction and law applicable to a debtor's insolvency proceedings and made mandatory the recognition of those proceedings in other EU Member States. Its remit was expanded to include not only bankruptcy but also hybrid and pre-insolvency proceedings, as well as debt discharges and debt adjustments for natural persons (consumers and sole traders). In late 2016, as a further step and a follow up to the Insolvency Recommendation of 2014, the Commission proposed to adopt a directive on business restructuring, which would provide new legal tools to rescue viable businesses in distress and give honest but bankrupt entrepreneurs a second chance. The proposal focuses on three key elements: common principles on early restructuring tools, which would help companies to continue operating and preserve jobs; rules to allow entrepreneurs to benefit from a second chance through a discharge of debt; and targeted measures allowing Member States to increase the efficiency of insolvency, restructuring and discharge procedures. The initiative is a key deliverable under the capital markets union action plan. It will also contribute substantially to addressing the high levels of non-performing loans in banks' balance sheets. The draft report was presented to the Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) in September 2017. In May 2018 the Council reached agreement on part of the proposal.

Upgrading EU Company Law for digital solutions and cross-border operations

09-01-2018

Currently, EU company law is partially codified in Directive (EU) 2017/1132 relating to certain aspects of company law. Harmonisation of EU company law is a prerequisite for deploying a fully-fledged digital single market enabling all operators, in particular SMEs, to draw on the potential of the digital economy and to eliminate unnecessary barriers, while safeguarding their rights and providing legal and cyber security. Despite the recent codification and recently amended other pieces of EU company ...

Currently, EU company law is partially codified in Directive (EU) 2017/1132 relating to certain aspects of company law. Harmonisation of EU company law is a prerequisite for deploying a fully-fledged digital single market enabling all operators, in particular SMEs, to draw on the potential of the digital economy and to eliminate unnecessary barriers, while safeguarding their rights and providing legal and cyber security. Despite the recent codification and recently amended other pieces of EU company law, problems linked with legal certainty, administrative burden, unnecessary costs for companies resulting in lack of transparency or ineffective protection of companies, still remain. These points were noted and underscored several times by the European Parliament. The European Commission is expected to publish a legislative proposal on an EU company law package on 16 January 2018, potentially addressing digitalisation, cross-border mergers, divisions and conversions, as well as rules on conflict of laws related to company law.

Mapping the Cost of Non-Europe, 2014-19 - Fourth edition

07-12-2017

This study brings together work in progress on a long-term project to identify and analyse the 'cost of non-Europe' in a number of policy fields. This concept, first pioneered by the European Parliament in the 1980s, is used here to quantify the potential efficiency gains in today's European economy through pursuing a series of policy initiatives recently advocated by Parliament – from a wider and deeper digital single market to more systematic coordination of national and European defence policies ...

This study brings together work in progress on a long-term project to identify and analyse the 'cost of non-Europe' in a number of policy fields. This concept, first pioneered by the European Parliament in the 1980s, is used here to quantify the potential efficiency gains in today's European economy through pursuing a series of policy initiatives recently advocated by Parliament – from a wider and deeper digital single market to more systematic coordination of national and European defence policies or increased cooperation to fight corporate tax avoidance. The benefits are measured principally in additional GDP generated or more rational use of public resources. The latest analysis suggests that the European economy could be boosted by €1.75 trillion per year – or 12 % of EU-28 GDP (2016) – by such measures over time. The study is intended to make a contribution to the on-going discussion about the European Union's policy priorities over the current five-year institutional cycle, running from 2014 to 2019.

Preventive restructuring, second chance and efficient restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures

24-05-2017

This Commission impact assessment is based on a wealth of information drawing from both research and consultation. Research quoted spans the last decade and encompasses international organisation, academic and think tank work. The consultation performed by the Commission has been essential to prioritising the issues to be further harmonised and in choosing the detailed sub-options. Among the strengths of the IA, there is a genuine attempt to comply as much as possible with the Commission Better Regulation ...

This Commission impact assessment is based on a wealth of information drawing from both research and consultation. Research quoted spans the last decade and encompasses international organisation, academic and think tank work. The consultation performed by the Commission has been essential to prioritising the issues to be further harmonised and in choosing the detailed sub-options. Among the strengths of the IA, there is a genuine attempt to comply as much as possible with the Commission Better Regulation Guidelines and transparency in providing information. This is particularly evident in the broad range of options presented and in the presentation of the territorial impacts of the initiative. In this regard, for instance, the IA provides a useful legal analysis of the most important issues for most Member States. Nevertheless, economic impacts appear to be analysed more in depth than social and employment outcomes. Among the additional weaknesses, the numerous objectives identified are not time-bound and may be difficult to measure. Finally, although the IA states that Member States should not incur significant monitoring costs, the requirements in the IA appear to be shorter and less detailed than the ones in the Commission proposal.

Cross-border transfer of company seats

12-05-2017

This briefing provides an overview of the legal issues arising from the cross-border transfer of companys' seats within the EU as well as of the current legal landscape. It takes stock of the work carried out and the initiatives taken in this field by both the European Parliament and the Commission. It finally supplies a summary of the expertise recently submitted to both the European Parliament and the Commission as well as of the key findings thereof.

This briefing provides an overview of the legal issues arising from the cross-border transfer of companys' seats within the EU as well as of the current legal landscape. It takes stock of the work carried out and the initiatives taken in this field by both the European Parliament and the Commission. It finally supplies a summary of the expertise recently submitted to both the European Parliament and the Commission as well as of the key findings thereof.

A SECOND CHANCE FOR ENTREPRENEURS

20-03-2017

There are still several Member States where a business cannot be restructured before it is insolvent. Important discrepancies have remained as to the duration of the discharge period. Such differences in Member States' legal frameworks mean continuing legal uncertainty. The proposal aims to reduce barriers to cross-border investment related to differences between the Member States' restructuring and second chance frameworks, and to increase investment and job opportunities in the single market. ...

There are still several Member States where a business cannot be restructured before it is insolvent. Important discrepancies have remained as to the duration of the discharge period. Such differences in Member States' legal frameworks mean continuing legal uncertainty. The proposal aims to reduce barriers to cross-border investment related to differences between the Member States' restructuring and second chance frameworks, and to increase investment and job opportunities in the single market. Furthermore, unnecessary liquidations of viable companies should be decreased, value for creditors, owners and the economy should be maximised, and possibilities of cross-border restructurings be increased. Finally, the Directive is intended to improve the effectiveness of all restructuring, insolvency and second chance procedures with a view to reducing their length and costs.

What Are the Issues Relating to Digitalisation in Company Law?

15-06-2016

The Note sets out areas where digitalisation could bring benefits in the company law area, looking at issues such as online formation of companies, electronic filing of documents, safeguards for information, information sharing by business registries, digital communication between a company and its shareholders including relating to general meetings, a company's email address and URL, electronic company records, and digital signature of contracts and execution of documents.

The Note sets out areas where digitalisation could bring benefits in the company law area, looking at issues such as online formation of companies, electronic filing of documents, safeguards for information, information sharing by business registries, digital communication between a company and its shareholders including relating to general meetings, a company's email address and URL, electronic company records, and digital signature of contracts and execution of documents.

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