The European Company Statute (Regulation 2157/2001, which is directly applicable in EU member states) was adopted on 8 October 2001 and came into force on 8 October 2004. It required the Commission to report on its application five years after coming into force. The Commission published its consultation on 23 March 2010, together with a report by external consultants. The consultation aims to test the findings of the external study with all interested stakeholders. The Commission is also organising a high-level conference on the statute on 26 May 2010.
The external study covers a number of key issues, including:
- drivers for setting up a European Company (SE)
- differences between national legislation relating to SEs
- main trends in the distribution of SEs across Europe
- practical problems encountered in the course of setting up or running an SE
- suggestions for amendments to the SE legislation to increase its attractiveness for business.
Among the proposals for amendment made by the external study are:
- simplification of the process of establishing an SE, including permitting private limited companies to form an SE by merger or conversion
- reducing the minimum capital requirement for SEs
- aligning the rules of the SE legislation with other European legislation, including the cross-border mergers directive and the proposals for the establishment of a European private limited company.
The consultation can be found by clicking here. The consultation closes on 23 May 2010.