AIAS Lunch Seminar 18 February - Elwin Wolters

Worker involvement in the European Company (SE)

Elwin Wolters, Researcher AIAS

Abstract

The legislation about the European Company (Sociatas Europeae, hereafter SE) is adopted in 2001, after lengthy negotiations between the European member states. It took almost four years to implement the European Company Statute (ECS) in all member states. The aim of the SE is to create a flexible European legal structure for companies with multinational business. The SE Statute deals with the formation of an SE, its seat, the board structure (two-tier or one-tier) and worker involvement.

The most disputed issues were the question of taxation, the board structure and worker involvement (especially the board-level representation of employees (participation)) in the SE. Worker involvement was for many years the bottleneck of the ECS. All member states have different traditions regarding information, consultation and participation, what led to an immense debate between member states about worker involvement. These differences in worker involvement are very much interweaved with the country’s industrial relations and corporate governance systems.

Since the implementation in 2004 of the ECS certain issues are not clear or worked out unexpected. These issues are: structural changes; appearance of “empty” or “shelf” SEs and transferring of statutory or registered seat. A typical Dutch phenomenon is the many transfer of seats of SEs to other member states. The reason for this could be tax advantages in the Netherlands for holding-SEs.

Day: Thursday 18 February 2010
Time: 12.15 – 13.15 hrs.
Location: AIAS, 3rd floor building M, Plantage Muidergracht 12
Register: Please send us an e-mail before 17 February, 12.00 hrs.
A sandwich will then be provided.

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