General corporate: European Company Statute

United Kingdom
Internal Market Commissioner Mario Monti has been trying to revive the interest of industry and the Member States in the European Company Statute. The ECS would create a legal structure for a European company which would be of particular benefit for companies active in more than one Member State. Commissioner Monti believes that it would reduce bureaucracy and be the logical choice for companies wishing to take full advantage of the single market.

But not all companies are keen. Some fear that the provisions on worker participation could be extended. In response, Commissioner Monti points out that the ECS will be another option and not a replacement for existing national systems of company law and that it is for employers and employees to agree on the level of worker participation in each European Company. Only if they cannot agree will the ECS provisions apply. It is expected that most European companies would not have to apply the ECS provisions because they would negotiate something that suits them better.

Finally, Commissioner Monti considers that worker participation in the ECS would not open the floodgates, with such participation becoming standard practice. He believes that there is no political appetite for this.