European Company Statute: no EP challenge to legal basis

The new President of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, has decided not to challenge the legal basis used to adopt the European Company Statute. The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament had recommended to take the Council to Court on this matter, after its decision on 8 October to choose article 308 of the Treaty as the legal basis of this statute.

Parliament President Pat Cox agreed to back from a legal challenge after the Spanish Presidency reportedly promised to involve the Parliament more actively in future European Summit meetings. Mr. Cox told reporters that he feared the challenge might have delayed the introduction of the European Company Statute by two years.


European employers' organisation UNICE welcomed the decision by the European Parliament President. ""It took over thirty years to bring the European Company Statute to life. Though the current statute is far from perfect, business is relieved to see that implementation of the European Company Statute will not be further delayed", said Philippe de Buck, UNICE's Secretary General.


The Council of Ministers decided on 8 October 2001 to approve the proposed legislation establishing the European Company Statute ("Societas Europea"). The legal basis for its decision was article 308 of the EU Treaty (which requires only consultation), instead of article 95 (which foresees co-decision for the Parliament) (see alsoEURACTIV 9 October 2001)

The European Company Statute (ECS) is one of the key elements in completing the internal market. The new legislation allows the establishment of European companies [or SEs, derived from the Latin name "Societas Europea"], in the form of a public limited-liability company. These will have the ability to operate throughout the EU with one set of rules and a unified management and reporting system.


Subscribe to our newsletters