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S.I. No. 21/2007 - European Communities (European Public Limited Liability Company) Regulations 2007

S.I. No. 21 of 2007

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (EUROPEAN PUBLIC LIMITED — LIABILITY COMPANY) REGULATIONS 2007

Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in “Iris Oifigiúil” of 30th January, 2007.

I, Micheál Martin, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 3 of the European Communities Act 1972 (No. 27 of 1972) and for the purpose of giving full effect to Council Regulation (EC) No. 2157/2001 of 8 October 2001 1 on the Statute for a European company (SE), hereby make the following regulations—

PART 1 GENERAL

Citation and construction

1. (1) These Regulations may be cited as the European Communities (European Public Limited-Liability Company) Regulations 2007.

(2) The Companies Acts and these Regulations shall be construed together as one.

Interpretation

2. (1) In these Regulations—

“Act of 1963” means the Companies Act 1963 (No.33 of 1963);

“competent authority” means the authority designated by Regulation 29 (a), (b) or (c), as appropriate;

“CRO Gazette” means the electronic gazette maintained by the Registrar on the website of the Companies Registration Office pursuant to Regulation 4 of the European Communities (Companies) Regulations 2004 ( S.I. No.839 of 2004 );

“Director” means the Director of Corporate Enforcement;

“EC Regulation” means Council Regulation 2157/2001/EC of 8 October 2001 2 on the Statute for a European company (SE) (the text of which, for convenience of reference, is set out in the Schedule);

“EEA Agreement” means the Agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2 May 1992, as amended for the time being;

“Member State” means a state that is a contracting party to the EEA Agreement;

“Registrar” means the Registrar of Companies;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made under section 3 of the European

Communities Act 1972 (No.27 of 1972);

“SE established by merger” means an SE established in accordance with Article 2(1);

“SE established by formation of a holding company or subsidiary company” means an SE established in accordance with Article 2(2) or 2(3), as the case may be;

“SE established by transformation” means an SE established in accordance with Article 2(4) and for the purposes of these Regulations and the European Communities (European Public Limited-Liability Company) (Forms) Regulations 2007 and any forms prescribed thereunder, it is immaterial whether the word “transformation” or “conversion” is used.

(2) References in these Regulations to an “SE” are references to a European public limited liability company within the meaning of Article 1 of the EC Regulation whose registered office is, or is to be, in the State and references to “SEs” shall be construed accordingly;

(3) A reference in these Regulations to a numbered Article is a reference to the Article so numbered of the EC Regulation.

(4) A reference in these Regulations to a numbered Title is a reference to the Title so numbered of the EC Regulation.

(5) A word or expression used in these Regulations which is also used in the EC Regulation has the same meaning as it has in that Regulation.

PART 2 REGISTRATION AUTHORITY FOR AN SE, ETC.

Registration authority

3. For the purposes of the registration of an SE in the State, the Registrar shall be subject to the duties, and shall perform the functions, specified in this Part.

Applications in respect of registration (Articles 2 and 3(2))

4. (1) Where it is proposed to register any of the following-

(a) an SE formed by merger in accordance with Article 2(1),

(b) a holding SE formed in accordance with Article 2(2),

(c) a subsidiary SE formed in accordance with Article 2(3),

(d) an SE formed in accordance with Article 2(4) by the conversion of a public limited company,

or

(e) an SE formed as the subsidiary of an SE in accordance with Article 3(2),

there shall be delivered to the Registrar an application in the prescribed form together with the documents, if any, specified in that form.

(2) In paragraph (1)(e) the reference to an SE, a subsidiary of which is to be registered under that provision, includes a reference to an SE whose registered office is in another Member State.

Registration of SE on transfer of its registered office to the State

5. Where it is proposed to transfer to the State the registered office of an SE whose registered office is situated in another Member State, there shall be delivered to the Registrar an application in respect of that SE in the prescribed form together with the documents, if any, specified in that form.

Participation in formation of an SE by company whose head office is outside the Community

6. (1) A company (the “first-mentioned company”) which is registered in a Member State, but which has its head office outside any of the Member States, may participate in the formation of an SE where the Registrar is satisfied that the first-mentioned company has a real and continuous link with the State’s economy.

(2) The Registrar shall not be satisfied that the first-mentioned company has such a link unless that company furnishes a statement in writing to him or her—

(a) that has been given to it by the Revenue Commissioners within the period specified in paragraph (3), and

(b) which states that the Revenue Commissioners have reasonable grounds to believe that the company has a real and continuous link with the State’s economy.

(3) The period mentioned in subparagraph (a) of paragraph (2) is the period of 2 months ending on the date on which the statement referred to in that paragraph is furnished, pursuant to that paragraph, by the first-mentioned company to the Registrar.

Transfer of registered office from the State to another Member State

7. (1) Where it is proposed to transfer the registered office of an SE from the State to another Member State there shall be delivered to the Registrar, for the purposes of applying for the issue of a certificate under Article 8(8), an application in the prescribed form together with the documents, if any, specified in that form.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), a statement of solvency in the prescribed form made by—

(a) in the case of an SE falling within the one-tier system, all the members of the administrative organ, and

(b) in the case of an SE falling within the two-tier system, all the members of the management organ, together with the written authority of the supervisory organ given to the making of the statement,

shall be delivered to the Registrar, together with—

(i) accounts of the SE made up to a date falling within the period specified in paragraph (3) and

(ii) a report (the terms of which shall be unqualified) in relation to those accounts made by the auditors of the SE pursuant to section 193 of the Companies Act 1990 (No. 33 of 1990).

(3) The period mentioned in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (2) is the period of 2 months ending on the date on which the accounts referred to in that subparagraph are delivered to the Registrar.

(4) In determining whether it is proper to issue a certificate to an SE under Article 8(8) on foot of an application under paragraph (1), it shall be sufficient for the Registrar to have regard to each document (including the application and any statement, report and account) delivered to the Registrar in that behalf under this Regulation.

Registration of an SE

8. The Registrar shall register an SE formed or transformed under the provisions of Article 2 or 3, or an SE whose registered office is transferred to the State under Article 8, where he or she is satisfied that the requirements of these Regulations and the EC Regulation in respect of such formation, transformation or transfer of an SE, as the case may be, have been complied with in respect of that SE.

Documents sent to Registrar

9. (1) The Registrar shall retain any document delivered to him or her under any provision of these Regulations or the EC Regulation.

(2) For the purposes of this Regulation, documents delivered to the Registrar under Regulation 7 shall be treated as documents delivered to the Registrar on the deletion of the registration of the SE making the application under that Regulation and the provisions of Regulation 10 shall apply accordingly.

Application of Companies Acts with regard to registration of SEs

10. The provisions of the Companies Acts which apply in relation to the registration of companies and the functions and other duties of the Registrar shall also apply, with any necessary modifications, to SEs.

PART 3 DISCRETIONARY POWERS GIVEN TO MEMBER STATES BY EC REGULATION— PROVISIONS MADE IN EXERCISE THEREOF

Additional forms of publication of transfer proposal (Article 8(2))

11. (1) An SE in respect of which there is a transfer proposal referred to in Article 8(2) shall notify in writing its shareholders, and every creditor of whose claim and address it is aware, of the right to examine the transfer proposal and the report drawn up under Article 8(3), at its registered office and, on request, to obtain copies of those documents free of charge, not later than one month before the general meeting called to decide on the transfer.

(2) Every invoice, order for goods or business letter, which, at any time between the date on which the transfer proposal and report become available for inspection at the registered office of the SE and the deletion of the SE’s registration on transfer, is issued by or on behalf of the SE, shall contain a statement that the SE is proposing to transfer its registered office to another Member State under Article 8 and identifying that Member State.

Protection of minority shareholders- right to apply to Court (Articles 8(5) and 24(2))

12. (1) Where it is proposed to transfer the registered office of an SE from the State to another Member State, then, notwithstanding any other provision in the Companies Acts, any member or members holding, in the aggregate, not less than 10 per cent in nominal value of the issued share capital of the SE, being persons who did not consent to or vote in favour of the resolution for the transfer, may apply to the Court—

(a) to have the decision to transfer annulled,

(b) to require the SE to acquire for cash the securities of the shareholders opposed to the transfer,

or

(c) for such other remedy as the Court considers just.

(2) On an application under paragraph (1), the Court may, as it considers appropriate, annul the decision to transfer, require the SE to acquire for cash the securities of the shareholders opposed to the transfer or grant such other remedy as it considers just.

(3) Where a company proposes to form an SE through a merger pursuant to Article 2(1), then, notwithstanding any other provision in the Companies Acts, any member or members holding, in the aggregate, not less than 10 per cent in nominal value of the issued share capital of the company, being persons who did not consent to or vote in favour of the resolution for the merger, may apply to the Court—

(a) to have the decision to merge annulled,

(b) to require the SE to acquire for cash the securities of the shareholders opposed to the merger, or

(c) for such other remedy as the Court considers just.

(4) On an application under paragraph (3), the Court may, as it considers appropriate, annul the decision to merge, require the SE to acquire for cash the securities of the shareholders opposed to the merger or grant such other remedy as it considers just.

(5) (a) An application under paragraph (1) shall be made not later than 28 days following the day on which the resolution for the transfer is passed.

(b) An application under paragraph (3) shall be made no later than 28 days following the day on which the resolution for the merger is passed.

Extension of protection given by Article 8(7) to liabilities incurred prior to transfer

13. The first sub-paragraph of Article 8(7) shall apply to liabilities that arise (or may arise) prior to the transfer.

Power of competent authority in the State to oppose a transfer on public interest grounds

14. The Director as competent authority may exercise the power given by Article 8(14) to oppose the transfer of a registered office.

Management or administrative organ of SE may amend statutes where in conflict with employee involvement arrangements

15. Where there is a conflict between the arrangements for employee involvement made pursuant to the European Communities (European Public Limited-Liability Company) (Employee Involvement) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 623 of 2006 ) and the existing statutes of an SE, the management or administrative organ of the SE may amend those statutes in accordance with Article 12(4) without any further decision of a general meeting of shareholders.

Power of competent authority in the State to oppose the participation of a merging company

16. The Director as competent authority may exercise the power given by Article 19 to oppose the taking part, by a public company, in the formation of an SE by merger.

Appointment or removal of member or members of management organ by general meeting (Article 39(2))

17. (1) The statutes of an SE may permit the member or members of the management organ to be appointed and removed by the general meeting in accordance with Article 39(2).

(2) Paragraph (1) is without prejudice to the application (by virtue of Regulation 27) of section 182 of the Act of 1963.

Member of supervisory organ can request information from management organ (Article 41(3))

18. Each member of a supervisory organ is entitled to require the management organ to provide information of any kind which he or she needs to exercise supervision in accordance with Article 40(1).

Minimum number of members of an administrative organ (Article 43(2))

19. The minimum number of the members of the administrative organ of an SE shall be two.

First general meeting to be held within the 18 months following incorporation (Article 54(1))

20. So long as an SE holds its first annual general meeting within 18 months of its registration in the State, it need not hold such a meeting in the year of its registration or in the following year.

PART 4 PROVISIONS MADE IN FULFILMENT OF OBLIGATION TO ENACT CERTAIN MEASURES

Publication of terms of transfer, formation and conversion

21. (1) Where in respect of Article 8(2), 32(3) or 37(5), terms or draft terms of formation or conversion, or a transfer proposal are required to be publicised, there shall be delivered to the Registrar a copy of the terms, draft terms or the proposal, as the case may be, accompanied by the prescribed form specified in relation to each Article.

(2) The Registrar shall cause to be published in the CRO Gazette notice of the receipt by him or her of the copy of those terms or draft terms or such proposal, as the case may be.

Publication of completion of merger (Article 28)

22. Where an SE is formed by merger, whether its registered office is in the State or not, and a public limited company registered in this jurisdiction has taken part in that formation, the Registrar shall cause to be published in the CRO Gazette notice that the merger has been completed.

Publication of fulfilment of conditions for formation of a holding SE (Article 33(3))

23. Where, in respect of a company, the conditions for the formation of a holding SE, whether or not it is to be registered in the State, are fulfilled, the company shall deliver to the Registrar, within 14 days from such fulfilment, notice of that event in the prescribed form and the Registrar shall cause to be published in the CRO Gazette notice that those conditions have been fulfilled.

Publication of other documents or information

24. (1) Where, in respect of Article 59(3) or 65 of the EC Regulation, the occurrence of an event is required to be publicised, the Registrar shall cause to be published in the CRO Gazette notice of the receipt by him or her of the particulars of the event mentioned in that Article.

(2) Where, in respect of Article 8(12) or 15(2) of the EC Regulation, the registration of an SE, whether on formation under Title II, or on the transfer of the registered office of an SE under Article 8 or the deletion of a registration under that Article is required to be publicised, the Registrar shall cause to be published in the CRO Gazette notice of that registration or the deletion of that registration and of the receipt of the documents and particulars related to that registration or deletion required to be delivered to the registrar by the EC Regulation or these Regulations.

Power to require SE to take steps to comply with requirements of Article 7

25. (1) If it appears to the Director that an SE no longer complies with the requirements specified in Article 7, he or she may give a direction in writing to the SE to take steps, in accordance with Article 64(1)(a) or (b), to ensure that it complies with those requirements.

(2) Such a direction shall—

(a) include a statement of the reasons upon which the direction is being given,

and

(b) specify the period within which steps concerned are to be taken.

(3) Where an SE has failed to comply with a direction under paragraph (1), the Director may apply to the High Court for an order directing the SE to comply with the direction and, on the hearing of the application, the Court may make such order as it sees fit and may provide that all costs of and incidental to the application shall be borne by the SE.

(4) Section 213 of the Act of 1963 is amended by inserting the following after paragraph (e):

“(ea) the company is an SE, within the meaning of the European Communities (European Public Limited — Liability Company) Regulations 2007, that no longer complies with the requirements specified in Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2157/2001 on the Statute for a European company;”.

(5) Section 215 of the Act of 1963 is amended—

(a) by deleting “and” where it occurs immediately before paragraph (g),

(b) in paragraph (g), by substituting “paragraph; and” for “paragraph.” where it lastly occurs, and

(c) by inserting the following after paragraph (g):

“(h) a petition for winding-up on the grounds mentioned in paragraph (ea) of section 213 may be presented by the Director.”.

Appeals against decisions of competent authority (Articles 8(14) and 19)

26. (1) This Regulation applies where—

(a) the transfer of the registered office of an SE under Article 8(14),

or

(b) the taking part by a public limited company in the formation of an SE by merger under Article 19,

is opposed by the Director as competent authority under Article 8(14) or 19, as the case may be.

(2) Where this Regulation applies, the SE or the public limited company, as appropriate, may, within 21 days from being informed of the Director’s decision to oppose the transfer or the taking part in the formation of an SE by merger, appeal against the Director’s decision to the High Court.

(3) On the hearing of an appeal under paragraph (2), the High Court may either confirm or cancel the decision of the Director.

(4) A decision of the High Court under paragraph (3) shall be final, save that, by leave of the Court, an appeal from the decision shall lie to the Supreme Court on a specified question of law.

(5) The High Court may, on application made by the SE or the public limited company, extend the period referred to in paragraph (2) within which an appeal may be made in relation to the matter referred to in that paragraph (the “appeal period”) if, but only if, it is satisfied that—

(a) where the application for the extension is made before the end of the appeal period, there is good reason for the SE or the company being unable to make the appeal within that period, or

(b) where the application for the extension is made after the end of the appeal period, that there was a good reason for the failure of the SE or the company to make the appeal within that period and for any delay in applying for the extension.

PART 5 PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE EFFECTIVE APPLICATION OF THE EC REGULATION

Application of law

27. (1) Any enactment or rule of law which applies in relation to a public limited company incorporated under the Companies Acts shall, in the absence of any express provision to the contrary in these Regulations, apply with any necessary modifications in relation to an SE as it applies in relation to such a company.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), the Companies Acts shall, in their application to SEs, have effect with the modifications specified in these Regulations.

Members of organs to be treated as directors, etc.

28. (1) For the purposes of the application to an SE of the provisions of the Companies Acts which apply to public limited companies, the members of—

(a) the administrative organ in the case of an SE within the one-tier system,

and

(b) the supervisory organ and of the management organ in the case of an SE within the two-tier system,

shall be regarded and treated as if they were directors of a public limited company and shall have and shall discharge the responsibilities of such directors accordingly.

(2) For the purposes of the application to an SE of the provisions of the Companies Acts which apply to public limited companies, the members of—

(a) the administrative organ in the case of an SE within the one-tier system,

and

(b) the supervisory organ and of the management organ in the case of an SE within the two-tier system,

shall designate one of their members to discharge the responsibilities that would be required to be discharged by a company secretary were the SE a public limited company and the person so designated shall have and shall discharge such responsibilities and shall be regarded and treated as if he or she were a secretary of a public limited company accordingly.

(3) For the purposes of the application to an SE of the provisions of the Companies Acts that require a document prepared by a public limited company to be signed or certified—

(a) by the secretary of the company acting alone,

or

(b) jointly by that secretary and a director or, as the case may be, a specified number (which number is referred to subsequently in this Regulation as “the requisite number”) of directors of the company,

then that requirement shall be regarded as satisfied, in the case of an SE, if the document concerned is signed or certified by the member of the SE designated pursuant to paragraph (2) acting alone or, as appropriate, signed or certified jointly by that member and—

(i) in the case of an SE within the one-tier system, a member or, as the case may require, the requisite number of members of the administrative organ of the SE,

or

(ii) in the case of an SE within the two-tier system, a member or, as the case may require, the requisite number of members of the supervisory organ or the management organ of the SE.

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (3)(ii), it shall be solely at the discretion of the SE whether the requisite number is counted from amongst one alone of the organs there mentioned or partly from the one of them and partly from the other.

Competent authorities

29. The competent authorities designated under Article 68(2) are:

(a) in respect of Articles 8(7) and 8(8), the Registrar,

(b) in respect of Articles 8(14), 19, 54, 55 and 64, the Director, and

(c) in respect of Articles 25 and 26, the High Court.

National Gazette

30. For the purposes of Article 21, publication may be made in the CRO Gazette.

Records of an SE transferred under Article 8(11) or a public limited company ceasing to exist under Article 29(1) and (2)

31. (1) Where—

(a) the registration of an SE is deleted under Article 8(11) pursuant to a transfer of its registered office to another Member State; or

(b) a public limited company ceases to exist under Article 29(1)(c) or (2)(c),

the records kept by the Registrar in relation to that SE or public limited company, as the case may be, shall continue to be kept by him or her for a period of twenty years following such a deletion or cessation of existence.

(2) Where the registration of an SE is deleted, the form, and the documents, if any, accompanying it, delivered to the Registrar under Regulation 7 together with a copy of the certificate issued under Article 8(8) shall be deemed to be documents to be retained by the Registrar under Regulation 9 and the provisions of these Regulations shall apply accordingly.

Notification of amendments to statutes and insolvency events (Articles 59(3) and 65)

32. Where, under Article 59(3) or 65, publication by the Registrar in the CRO Gazette of the events mentioned in that Article is required by Article 13—

(a) in the case of Article 59(3), the amendments to the statutes shall be delivered to the Registrar by the SE accompanied by the prescribed form within 14 days from the adoption of those amendments, and

(b) in the case of Article 65, notice of the relevant event set out in the prescribed form shall be delivered to the Registrar by the SE within 14 days from the occurrence of the event.

Annual return date

33. (1) On the registration of an SE, the Registrar shall assign to the SE an annual return date for the purposes of section 127 of the Act of 1963 (inserted by the Company Law Enforcement Act 2001 (No.28 of 2001) and amended by the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003 (No.44 of 2003)) and that date shall, subject to paragraphs (3) and (5), be the annual return date of the SE for those purposes accordingly.

(2) The secretary of the SE may serve on the Registrar, not later than 6 weeks from its date of registration, a notice in the prescribed form—

(a) requesting the Registrar to assign, as an annual return date in respect of the SE, a date specified in the notice and which is different from that assigned under paragraph (1),

and

(b) stating the reason or reasons why, in the secretary’s opinion, the date so specified is more suitable than that assigned under paragraph (1).

(3) The Registrar shall consider such a notice and, if the Registrar is of the opinion that the reason or reasons (or any of them) referred to in paragraph (2)(b) and stated in the notice disclose good and substantial grounds for the secretary’s opinion that the date specified in the notice is more suitable than that assigned under paragraph (1), the Registrar shall assign that date as the annual return date of the SE in place of that assigned under paragraph (1).Upon service of the notice referred to in paragraph (4) on the secretary of the SE the date so assigned shall have effect in place of the date assigned under paragraph (1) and,accordingly, shall,subject to paragraph (5), be the annual return date of the SE for the purposes of section 127 of the Act of 1963.

(4) The Registrar shall, by notice in writing served on the secretary of the SE, inform him or her whether the request made by the secretary in the notice served under paragraph (2) has been acceded to.

(5) The annual return date assigned by the Registrar under paragraph (1) or, as the case may be, paragraph (3) may be altered by the SE in accordance with the provisions of section 127 of the Act of 1963 as to the establishment of a new annual return date.

Offences

34. (1) If an SE or any of its officers fails to comply with Regulation 7, 11, 23 or 32 or Article 11 or 13, the SE and every officer who is in default shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000.

(2) Proceedings for an offence under paragraph (1) may be brought and prosecuted by the Director or the Registrar, save in the case of proceedings in respect of an offence under that paragraph consisting of a failure to comply with Article 11 or 13 which may only be brought and prosecuted by the Director.

Relationship of certain Regulations to Council Regulation

35. Regulations 10, 17(2) and 27 are made in consequence of, and are to be construed as being supplemental to, Article 9 and, accordingly, do not affect the direct application in the State of Article 9 or any other provision of the EC Regulation.

Regulation 2(1)

SCHEDULE COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) NO 2157/2001 of 8 October 2001 on the Statute for a European company (SE)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 308 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament(2),

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee(3),

Whereas:

(1) The completion of the internal market and the improvement it brings about in the economic and social situation throughout the Community mean not only that barriers to trade must be removed, but also that the structures of production must be adapted to the Community dimension. For that purpose it is essential that companies the business of which is not limited to satisfying purely local needs should be able to plan and carry out the reorganisation of their business on a Community scale.

(2) Such reorganisation presupposes that existing companies from different Member States are given the option of combining their potential by means of mergers. Such operations can be carried out only with due regard to the rules of competition laid down in the Treaty.

(3) Restructuring and cooperation operations involving companies from different Member States give rise to legal and psychological difficulties and tax problems. The approximation of Member States' company law by means of Directives based on Article 44 of the Treaty can overcome some of those difficulties. Such approximation does not, however, release companies governed by different legal systems from the obligation to choose a form of company governed by a particular national law.

(4) The legal framework within which business must be carried on in the Community is still based largely on national laws and therefore no longer corresponds to the economic framework within which it must develop if the objectives set out in Article 18 of the Treaty are to be achieved. That situation forms a considerable obstacle to the creation of groups of companies from different Member States.

(5) Member States are obliged to ensure that the provisions applicable to European companies under this Regulation do not result either in discrimination arising out of unjustified different treatment of European companies compared with public limited-liability companies or in disproportionate restrictions on the formation of a European company or on the transfer of its registered office.

(6) It is essential to ensure as far as possible that the economic unit and the legal unit of business in the Community coincide. For that purpose, provision should be made for the creation, side by side with companies governed by a particular national law, of companies formed and carrying on business under the law created by a Community Regulation directly applicable in all Member States.

(7) The provisions of such a Regulation will permit the creation and management of companies with a European dimension, free from the obstacles arising from the disparity and the limited territorial application of national company law.

(8) The Statute for a European public limited-liability company (hereafter referred to as "SE") is among the measures to be adopted by the Council before 1992 listed in the Commission's White Paper on completing the internal market, approved by the European Council that met in Milan in June 1985. The European Council that met in Brussels in 1987 expressed the wish to see such a Statute created swiftly.

(9) Since the Commission's submission in 1970 of a proposal for a Regulation on the Statute for a European public limited-liability company, amended in 1975, work on the approximation of national company law has made substantial progress, so that on those points where the functioning of an SE does not need uniform Community rules reference may be made to the law governing public limited-liability companies in the Member State where it has its registered office.

(10) Without prejudice to any economic needs that may arise in the future, if the essential objective of legal rules governing SEs is to be attained, it must be possible at least to create such a company as a means both of enabling companies from different Member States to merge or to create a holding company and of enabling companies and other legal persons carrying on economic activities and governed by the laws of different Member States to form joint subsidiaries.

(11) In the same context it should be possible for a public limited-liability company with a registered office and head office within the Community to transform itself into an SE without going into liquidation, provided it has a subsidiary in a Member State other than that of its registered office.

(12) National provisions applying to public limited-liability companies that offer their securities to the public and to securities transactions should also apply where an SE is formed by means of an offer of securities to the public and to SEs wishing to utilise such financial instruments.

(13) The SE itself must take the form of a company with share capital, that being the form most suited, in terms of both financing and management, to the needs of a company carrying on business on a European scale. In order to ensure that such companies are of reasonable size, a minimum amount of capital should be set so that they have sufficient assets without making it difficult for small and medium-sized undertakings to form SEs.

(14) An SE must be efficiently managed and properly supervised. It must be borne in mind that there are at present in the Community two different systems for the administration of public limited-liability companies. Although an SE should be allowed to choose between the two systems, the respective responsibilities of those responsible for management and those responsible for supervision should be clearly defined.

(15) Under the rules and general principles of private international law, where one undertaking controls another governed by a different legal system, its ensuing rights and obligations as regards the protection of minority shareholders and third parties are governed by the law governing the controlled undertaking, without prejudice to the obligations imposed on the controlling undertaking by its own law, for example the requirement to prepare consolidated accounts.

(16) Without prejudice to the consequences of any subsequent coordination of the laws of the Member States, specific rules for SEs are not at present required in this field. The rules and general principles of private international law should therefore be applied both where an SE exercises control and where it is the controlled company.

(17) The rule thus applicable where an SE is controlled by another undertaking should be specified, and for this purpose reference should be made to the law governing public limited-liability companies in the Member State in which the SE has its registered office.

(18) Each Member State must be required to apply the sanctions applicable to public limited-liability companies governed by its law in respect of infringements of this Regulation.

(19) The rules on the involvement of employees in the European company are laid down in Directive 2001/86/EC(4), and those provisions thus form an indissociable complement to this Regulation and must be applied concomitantly.

(20) This Regulation does not cover other areas of law such as taxation, competition, intellectual property or insolvency. The provisions of the Member States' law and of Community law are therefore applicable in the above areas and in other areas not covered by this Regulation.

(21) Directive 2001/86/EC is designed to ensure that employees have a right of involvement in issues and decisions affecting the life of their SE. Other social and labour legislation questions, in particular the right of employees to information and consultation as regulated in the Member States, are governed by the national provisions applicable, under the same conditions, to public limited-liability companies.

(22) The entry into force of this Regulation must be deferred so that each Member State may incorporate into its national law the provisions of Directive 2001/86/EC and set up in advance the necessary machinery for the formation and operation of SEs with registered offices within its territory, so that the Regulation and the Directive may be applied concomitantly.

(23) A company the head office of which is not in the Community should be allowed to participate in the formation of an SE provided that company is formed under the law of a Member State, has its registered office in that Member State and has a real and continuous link with a Member State's economy according to the principles established in the 1962 General Programme for the abolition of restrictions on freedom of establishment. Such a link exists in particular if a company has an establishment in that Member State and conducts operations therefrom.

(24) The SE should be enabled to transfer its registered office to another Member State. Adequate protection of the interests of minority shareholders who oppose the transfer, of creditors and of holders of other rights should be proportionate. Such transfer should not affect the rights originating before the transfer.

(25) This Regulation is without prejudice to any provision which may be inserted in the 1968 Brussels Convention or in any text adopted by Member States or by the Council to replace such Convention, relating to the rules of jurisdiction applicable in the case of transfer of the registered offices of a public limited-liability company from one Member State to another.

(26) Activities by financial institutions are regulated by specific directives and the national law implementing those directives and additional national rules regulating those activities apply in full to an SE.

(27) In view of the specific Community character of an SE, the "real seat" arrangement adopted by this Regulation in respect of SEs is without prejudice to Member States' laws and does not pre-empt any choices to be made for other Community texts on company law.

(28) The Treaty does not provide, for the adoption of this Regulation, powers of action other than those of Article 308 thereof.

(29) Since the objectives of the intended action, as outlined above, cannot be adequately attained by the Member States in as much as a European public limited-liability company is being established at European level and can therefore, because of the scale and impact of such company, be better attained at Community level, the Community may take measures in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity enshrined in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality as set out in the said Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary to attain these objectives,

HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

TITLE I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

1. A company may be set up within the territory of the Community in the form of a European public limited-liability company (Societas Europaea or SE) on the conditions and in the manner laid down in this Regulation.

2. The capital of an SE shall be divided into shares. No shareholder shall be liable for more than the amount he has subscribed.

3. An SE shall have legal personality.

4. Employee involvement in an SE shall be governed by the provisions of Directive 2001/86/EC.

Article 2

1. Public limited-liability companies such as referred to in Annex I, formed under the law of a Member State, with registered offices and head offices within the Community may form an SE by means of a merger provided that at least two of them are governed by the law of different Member States.

2. Public and private limited-liability companies such as referred to in Annex II, formed under the law of a Member State, with registered offices and head offices within the Community may promote the formation of a holding SE provided that each of at least two of them:

(a) is governed by the law of a different Member State, or

(b) has for at least two years had a subsidiary company governed by the law of another Member State or a branch situated in another Member State.

3. Companies and firms within the meaning of the second paragraph of Article 48 of the Treaty and other legal bodies governed by public or private law, formed under the law of a Member State, with registered offices and head offices within the Community may form a subsidiary SE by subscribing for its shares, provided that each of at least two of them:

(a) is governed by the law of a different Member State, or

(b) has for at least two years had a subsidiary company governed by the law of another Member State or a branch situated in another Member State.

4. A public limited-liability company, formed under the law of a Member State, which has its registered office and head office within the Community may be transformed into an SE if for at least two years it has had a subsidiary company governed by the law of another Member State.

5. A Member State may provide that a company the head office of which is not in the Community may participate in the formation of an SE provided that company is formed under the law of a Member State, has its registered office in that Member State and has a real and continuous link with a Member State's economy.

Article 3

1. For the purposes of Article 2(1), (2) and (3), an SE shall be regarded as a public limited-liability company governed by the law of the Member State in which it has its registered office.

2. An SE may itself set up one or more subsidiaries in the form of SEs. The provisions of the law of the Member State in which a subsidiary SE has its registered office that require a public limited-liability company to have more than one shareholder shall not apply in the case of the subsidiary SE. The provisions of national law implementing the twelfth Council Company Law Directive (89/667/EEC) of 21 December 1989 on single-member private limited-liability companies(5) shall apply to SEs mutatis mutandis.

Article 4

1. The capital of an SE shall be expressed in euro.

2. The subscribed capital shall not be less than EUR 120000.

3. The laws of a Member State requiring a greater subscribed capital for companies carrying on certain types of activity shall apply to SEs with registered offices in that Member State.

Article 5

Subject to Article 4(1) and (2), the capital of an SE, its maintenance and changes thereto, together with its shares, bonds and other similar securities shall be governed by the provisions which would apply to a public limited-liability company with a registered office in the Member State in which the SE is registered.

Article 6

For the purposes of this Regulation, "the statutes of the SE" shall mean both the instrument of incorporation and, where they are the subject of a separate document, the statutes of the SE.

Article 7

The registered office of an SE shall be located within the Community, in the same Member State as its head office. A Member State may in addition impose on SEs registered in its territory the obligation of locating their head office and their registered office in the same place.

Article 8

1. The registered office of an SE may be transferred to another Member State in accordance with paragraphs 2 to 13. Such a transfer shall not result in the winding up of the SE or in the creation of a new legal person.

2. The management or administrative organ shall draw up a transfer proposal and publicise it in accordance with Article 13, without prejudice to any additional forms of publication provided for by the Member State of the registered office. That proposal shall state the current name, registered office and number of the SE and shall cover:

(a) the proposed registered office of the SE;

(b) the proposed statutes of the SE including, where appropriate, its new name;

(c) any implication the transfer may have on employees' involvement;

(d) the proposed transfer timetable;

(e) any rights provided for the protection of shareholders and/or creditors.

3. The management or administrative organ shall draw up a report explaining and justifying the legal and economic aspects of the transfer and explaining the implications of the transfer for shareholders, creditors and employees.

4. An SE's shareholders and creditors shall be entitled, at least one month before the general meeting called upon to decide on the transfer, to examine at the SE's registered office the transfer proposal and the report drawn up pursuant to paragraph 3 and, on request, to obtain copies of those documents free of charge.

5. A Member State may, in the case of SEs registered within its territory, adopt provisions designed to ensure appropriate protection for minority shareholders who oppose a transfer.

6. No decision to transfer may be taken for two months after publication of the proposal. Such a decision shall be taken as laid down in Article 59.

7. Before the competent authority issues the certificate mentioned in paragraph 8, the SE shall satisfy it that, in respect of any liabilities arising prior to the publication of the transfer proposal, the interests of creditors and holders of other rights in respect of the SE (including those of public bodies) have been adequately protected in accordance with requirements laid down by the Member State where the SE has its registered office prior to the transfer.

A Member State may extend the application of the first subparagraph to liabilities that arise (or may arise) prior to the transfer.

The first and second subparagraphs shall be without prejudice to the application to SEs of the national legislation of Member States concerning the satisfaction or securing of payments to public bodies.

8. In the Member State in which an SE has its registered office the court, notary or other competent authority shall issue a certificate attesting to the completion of the acts and formalities to be accomplished before the transfer.

9. The new registration may not be effected until the certificate referred to in paragraph 8 has been submitted, and evidence produced that the formalities required for registration in the country of the new registered office have been completed.

10. The transfer of an SE's registered office and the consequent amendment of its statutes shall take effect on the date on which the SE is registered, in accordance with Article 12, in the register for its new registered office.

11. When the SE's new registration has been effected, the registry for its new registration shall notify the registry for its old registration. Deletion of the old registration shall be effected on receipt of that notification, but not before.

12. The new registration and the deletion of the old registration shall be publicised in the Member States concerned in accordance with Article 13.

13. On publication of an SE's new registration, the new registered office may be relied on as against third parties. However, as long as the deletion of the SE's registration from the register for its previous registered office has not been publicised, third parties may continue to rely on the previous registered office unless the SE proves that such third parties were aware of the new registered office.

14. The laws of a Member State may provide that, as regards SEs registered in that Member State, the transfer of a registered office which would result in a change of the law applicable shall not take effect if any of that Member State's competent authorities opposes it within the two-month period referred to in paragraph 6. Such opposition may be based only on grounds of public interest.

Where an SE is supervised by a national financial supervisory authority according to Community directives the right to oppose the change of registered office applies to this authority as well.

Review by a judicial authority shall be possible.

15. An SE may not transfer its registered office if proceedings for winding up, liquidation, insolvency or suspension of payments or other similar proceedings have been brought against it.

16. An SE which has transferred its registered office to another Member State shall be considered, in respect of any cause of action arising prior to the transfer as determined in paragraph 10, as having its registered office in the Member States where the SE was registered prior to the transfer, even if the SE is sued after the transfer.

Article 9

1. An SE shall be governed:

(a) by this Regulation,

(b) where expressly authorised by this Regulation, by the provisions of its statutes

or

(c) in the case of matters not regulated by this Regulation or, where matters are partly regulated by it, of those aspects not covered by it, by:

(i) the provisions of laws adopted by Member States in implementation of Community measures relating specifically to SEs;

(ii) the provisions of Member States' laws which would apply to a public limited-liability company formed in accordance with the law of the Member State in which the SE has its registered office;

(iii) the provisions of its statutes, in the same way as for a public limited-liability company formed in accordance with the law of the Member State in which the SE has its registered office.

2. The provisions of laws adopted by Member States specifically for the SE must be in accordance with Directives applicable to public limited-liability companies referred to in Annex I.

3. If the nature of the business carried out by an SE is regulated by specific provisions of national laws, those laws shall apply in full to the SE.

Article 10

Subject to this Regulation, an SE shall be treated in every Member State as if it were a public limited-liability company formed in accordance with the law of the Member State in which it has its registered office.

Article 11

1. The name of an SE shall be preceded or followed by the abbreviation SE.

2. Only SEs may include the abbreviation SE in their name.

3. Nevertheless, companies, firms and other legal entities registered in a Member State before the date of entry into force of this Regulation in the names of which the abbreviation SE appears shall not be required to alter their names.

Article 12

1. Every SE shall be registered in the Member State in which it has its registered office in a register designated by the law of that Member State in accordance with Article 3 of the first Council Directive (68/151/EEC) of 9 March 1968 on coordination of safeguards which, for the protection of the interests of members and others, are required by Member States of companies within the meaning of the second paragraph of Article 58 of the Treaty, with a view to making such safeguards equivalent throughout the Community(6).

2. An SE may not be registered unless an agreement on arrangements for employee involvement pursuant to Article 4 of Directive 2001/86/EC has been concluded, or a decision pursuant to Article 3(6) of the Directive has been taken, or the period for negotiations pursuant to Article 5 of the Directive has expired without an agreement having been concluded.

3. In order for an SE to be registered in a Member State which has made use of the option referred to in Article 7(3) of Directive 2001/86/EC, either an agreement pursuant to Article 4 of the Directive must have been concluded on the arrangements for employee involvement, including participation, or none of the participating companies must have been governed by participation rules prior to the registration of the SE.

4. The statutes of the SE must not conflict at any time with the arrangements for employee involvement which have been so determined. Where new such arrangements determined pursuant to the Directive conflict with the existing statutes, the statutes shall to the extent necessary be amended.

In this case, a Member State may provide that the management organ or the administrative organ of the SE shall be entitled to proceed to amend the statutes without any further decision from the general shareholders meeting.

Article 13

Publication of the documents and particulars concerning an SE which must be publicised under this Regulation shall be effected in the manner laid down in the laws of the Member State in which the SE has its registered office in accordance with Directive 68/151/EEC.

Article 14

1. Notice of an SE's registration and of the deletion of such a registration shall be published for information purposes in the Official Journal of the European Communities after publication in accordance with Article 13. That notice shall state the name, number, date and place of registration of the SE, the date and place of publication and the title of publication, the registered office of the SE and its sector of activity.

2. Where the registered office of an SE is transferred in accordance with Article 8, notice shall be published giving the information provided for in paragraph 1, together with that relating to the new registration.

3. The particulars referred to in paragraph 1 shall be forwarded to the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities within one month of the publication referred to in Article 13.

TITLE II

FORMATION

Section 1

General

Article 15

1. Subject to this Regulation, the formation of an SE shall be governed by the law applicable to public limited-liability companies in the Member State in which the SE establishes its registered office.

2. The registration of an SE shall be publicised in accordance with Article 13.

Article 16

1. An SE shall acquire legal personality on the date on which it is registered in the register referred to in Article 12.

2. If acts have been performed in an SE's name before its registration in accordance with Article 12 and the SE does not assume the obligations arising out of such acts after its registration, the natural persons, companies, firms or other legal entities which performed those acts shall be jointly and severally liable therefor, without limit, in the absence of agreement to the contrary.

Section 2

Formation by merger

Article 17

1. An SE may be formed by means of a merger in accordance with Article 2(1).

2. Such a merger may be carried out in accordance with:

(a) the procedure for merger by acquisition laid down in Article 3(1) of the third Council Directive (78/855/EEC) of 9 October 1978 based on Article 54(3)(g) of the Treaty concerning mergers of public limited-liability companies(7) or

(b) the procedure for merger by the formation of a new company laid down in Article 4(1) of the said Directive.

In the case of a merger by acquisition, the acquiring company shall take the form of an SE when the merger takes place. In the case of a merger by the formation of a new company, the SE shall be the newly formed company.

Article 18

For matters not covered by this section or, where a matter is partly covered by it, for aspects not covered by it, each company involved in the formation of an SE by merger shall be governed by the provisions of the law of the Member State to which it is subject that apply to mergers of public limited-liability companies in accordance with Directive 78/855/EEC.

Article 19

The laws of a Member State may provide that a company governed by the law of that Member State may not take part in the formation of an SE by merger if any of that Member State's competent authorities opposes it before the issue of the certificate referred to in Article 25(2).

Such opposition may be based only on grounds of public interest. Review by a judicial authority shall be possible.

Article 20

1. The management or administrative organs of merging companies shall draw up draft terms of merger. The draft terms of merger shall include the following particulars:

(a) the name and registered office of each of the merging companies together with those proposed for the SE;

(b) the share-exchange ratio and the amount of any compensation;

(c) the terms for the allotment of shares in the SE;

(d) the date from which the holding of shares in the SE will entitle the holders to share in profits and any special conditions affecting that entitlement;

(e) the date from which the transactions of the merging companies will be treated for accounting purposes as being those of the SE;

(f) the rights conferred by the SE on the holders of shares to which special rights are attached and on the holders of securities other than shares, or the measures proposed concerning them;

(g) any special advantage granted to the experts who examine the draft terms of merger or to members of the administrative, management, supervisory or controlling organs of the merging companies;

(h) the statutes of the SE;

(i) information on the procedures by which arrangements for employee involvement are determined pursuant to Directive 2001/86/EC.

2. The merging companies may include further items in the draft terms of merger.

Article 21

For each of the merging companies and subject to the additional requirements imposed by the Member State to which the company concerned is subject, the following particulars shall be published in the national gazette of that Member State:

(a) the type, name and registered office of every merging company;

(b) the register in which the documents referred to in Article 3(2) of Directive 68/151/EEC are filed in respect of each merging company, and the number of the entry in that register;

(c) an indication of the arrangements made in accordance with Article 24 for the exercise of the rights of the creditors of the company in question and the address at which complete information on those arrangements may be obtained free of charge;

(d) an indication of the arrangements made in accordance with Article 24 for the exercise of the rights of minority shareholders of the company in question and the address at which complete information on those arrangements may be obtained free of charge;

(e) the name and registered office proposed for the SE.

Article 22

As an alternative to experts operating on behalf of each of the merging companies, one or more independent experts as defined in Article 10 of Directive 78/855/EEC, appointed for those purposes at the joint request of the companies by a judicial or administrative authority in the Member State of one of the merging companies or of the proposed SE, may examine the draft terms of merger and draw up a single report to all the shareholders.

The experts shall have the right to request from each of the merging companies any information they consider necessary to enable them to complete their function.

Article 23

1. The general meeting of each of the merging companies shall approve the draft terms of merger.

2. Employee involvement in the SE shall be decided pursuant to Directive 2001/86/EC. The general meetings of each of the merging companies may reserve the right to make registration of the SE conditional upon its express ratification of the arrangements so decided.

Article 24

1. The law of the Member State governing each merging company shall apply as in the case of a merger of public limited-liability companies, taking into account the cross-border nature of the merger, with regard to the protection of the interests of:

(a) creditors of the merging companies;

(b) holders of bonds of the merging companies;

(c) holders of securities, other than shares, which carry special rights in the merging companies.

2. A Member State may, in the case of the merging companies governed by its law, adopt provisions designed to ensure appropriate protection for minority shareholders who have opposed the merger.

Article 25

1. The legality of a merger shall be scrutinised, as regards the part of the procedure concerning each merging company, in accordance with the law on mergers of public limited-liability companies of the Member State to which the merging company is subject.

2. In each Member State concerned the court, notary or other competent authority shall issue a certificate conclusively attesting to the completion of the pre-merger acts and formalities.

3. If the law of a Member State to which a merging company is subject provides for a procedure to scrutinise and amend the share-exchange ratio, or a procedure to compensate minority shareholders, without preventing the registration of the merger, such procedures shall only apply if the other merging companies situated in Member States which do not provide for such procedure explicitly accept, when approving the draft terms of the merger in accordance with Article 23(1), the possibility for the shareholders of that merging company to have recourse to such procedure. In such cases, the court, notary or other competent authorities may issue the certificate referred to in paragraph 2 even if such a procedure has been commenced. The certificate must, however, indicate that the procedure is pending. The decision in the procedure shall be binding on the acquiring company and all its shareholders.

Article 26

1. The legality of a merger shall be scrutinised, as regards the part of the procedure concerning the completion of the merger and the formation of the SE, by the court, notary or other authority competent in the Member State of the proposed registered office of the SE to scrutinise that aspect of the legality of mergers of public limited-liability companies.

2. To that end each merging company shall submit to the competent authority the certificate referred to in Article 25(2) within six months of its issue together with a copy of the draft terms of merger approved by that company.

3. The authority referred to in paragraph 1 shall in particular ensure that the merging companies have approved draft terms of merger in the same terms and that arrangements for employee involvement have been determined pursuant to Directive 2001/86/EC.

4. That authority shall also satisfy itself that the SE has been formed in accordance with the requirements of the law of the Member State in which it has its registered office in accordance with Article 15.

Article 27

1. A merger and the simultaneous formation of an SE shall take effect on the date on which the SE is registered in accordance with Article 12.

2. The SE may not be registered until the formalities provided for in Articles 25 and 26 have been completed.

Article 28

For each of the merging companies the completion of the merger shall be publicised as laid down by the law of each Member State in accordance with Article 3 of Directive 68/151/EEC.

Article 29

1. A merger carried out as laid down in Article 17(2)(a) shall have the following consequences ipso jure and simultaneously:

(a) all the assets and liabilities of each company being acquired are transferred to the acquiring company;

(b) the shareholders of the company being acquired become shareholders of the acquiring company;

(c) the company being acquired ceases to exist;

(d) the acquiring company adopts the form of an SE.

2. A merger carried out as laid down in Article 17(2)(b) shall have the following consequences ipso jure and simultaneously:

(a) all the assets and liabilities of the merging companies are transferred to the SE;

(b) the shareholders of the merging companies become shareholders of the SE;

(c) the merging companies cease to exist.

3. Where, in the case of a merger of public limited-liability companies, the law of a Member State requires the completion of any special formalities before the transfer of certain assets, rights and obligations by the merging companies becomes effective against third parties, those formalities shall apply and shall be carried out either by the merging companies or by the SE following its registration.

4. The rights and obligations of the participating companies on terms and conditions of employment arising from national law, practice and individual employment contracts or employment relationships and existing at the date of the registration shall, by reason of such registration be transferred to the SE upon its registration.

Article 30

A merger as provided for in Article 2(1) may not be declared null and void once the SE has been registered.

The absence of scrutiny of the legality of the merger pursuant to Articles 25 and 26 may be included among the grounds for the winding-up of the SE.

Article 31

1. Where a merger within the meaning of Article 17(2)(a) is carried out by a company which holds all the shares and other securities conferring the right to vote at general meetings of another company, neither Article 20(1)(b), (c) and (d), Article 29(1)(b) nor Article 22 shall apply. National law governing each merging company and mergers of public limited-liability companies in accordance with Article 24 of Directive 78/855/EEC shall nevertheless apply.

2. Where a merger by acquisition is carried out by a company which holds 90 % or more but not all of the shares and other securities conferring the right to vote at general meetings of another company, reports by the management or administrative body, reports by an independent expert or experts and the documents necessary for scrutiny shall be required only to the extent that the national law governing either the acquiring company or the company being acquired so requires.

Member States may, however, provide that this paragraph may apply where a company holds shares conferring 90 % or more but not all of the voting rights.

Section 3

Formation of a holding SE

Article 32

1. A holding SE may be formed in accordance with Article 2(2).

A company promoting the formation of a holding SE in accordance with Article 2(2) shall continue to exist.

2. The management or administrative organs of the companies which promote such an operation shall draw up, in the same terms, draft terms for the formation of the holding SE. The draft terms shall include a report explaining and justifying the legal and economic aspects of the formation and indicating the implications for the shareholders and for the employees of the adoption of the form of a holding SE. The draft terms shall also set out the particulars provided for in Article 20(1)(a), (b), (c), (f), (g), (h) and (i) and shall fix the minimum proportion of the shares in each of the companies promoting the operation which the shareholders must contribute to the formation of the holding SE. That proportion shall be shares conferring more than 50 % of the permanent voting rights.

3. For each of the companies promoting the operation, the draft terms for the formation of the holding SE shall be publicised in the manner laid down in each Member State's national law in accordance with Article 3 of Directive 68/151/EEC at least one month before the date of the general meeting called to decide thereon.

4. One or more experts independent of the companies promoting the operation, appointed or approved by a judicial or administrative authority in the Member State to which each company is subject in accordance with national provisions adopted in implementation of Directive 78/855/EEC, shall examine the draft terms of formation drawn up in accordance with paragraph 2 and draw up a written report for the shareholders of each company. By agreement between the companies promoting the operation, a single written report may be drawn up for the shareholders of all the companies by one or more independent experts, appointed or approved by a judicial or administrative authority in the Member State to which one of the companies promoting the operation or the proposed SE is subject in accordance with national provisions adopted in implementation of Directive 78/855/EEC.

5. The report shall indicate any particular difficulties of valuation and state whether the proposed share-exchange ratio is fair and reasonable, indicating the methods used to arrive at it and whether such methods are adequate in the case in question.

6. The general meeting of each company promoting the operation shall approve the draft terms of formation of the holding SE.

Employee involvement in the holding SE shall be decided pursuant to Directive 2001/86/EC. The general meetings of each company promoting the operation may reserve the right to make registration of the holding SE conditional upon its express ratification of the arrangements so decided.

7. These provisions shall apply mutatis mutandis to private limited-liability companies.

Article 33

1. The shareholders of the companies promoting such an operation shall have a period of three months in which to inform the promoting companies whether they intend to contribute their shares to the formation of the holding SE. That period shall begin on the date upon which the terms for the formation of the holding SE have been finally determined in accordance with Article 32.

2. The holding SE shall be formed only if, within the period referred to in paragraph 1, the shareholders of the companies promoting the operation have assigned the minimum proportion of shares in each company in accordance with the draft terms of formation and if all the other conditions are fulfilled.

3. If the conditions for the formation of the holding SE are all fulfilled in accordance with paragraph 2, that fact shall, in respect of each of the promoting companies, be publicised in the manner laid down in the national law governing each of those companies adopted in implementation of Article 3 of Directive 68/151/EEC.

Shareholders of the companies promoting the operation who have not indicated whether they intend to make their shares available to the promoting companies for the purpose of forming the holding SE within the period referred to in paragraph 1 shall have a further month in which to do so.

4. Shareholders who have contributed their securities to the formation of the SE shall receive shares in the holding SE.

5. The holding SE may not be registered until it is shown that the formalities referred to in Article 32 have been completed and that the conditions referred to in paragraph 2 have been fulfilled.

Article 34

A Member State may, in the case of companies promoting such an operation, adopt provisions designed to ensure protection for minority shareholders who oppose the operation, creditors and employees.

Section 4

Formation of a subsidiary SE

Article 35

An SE may be formed in accordance with Article 2(3).

Article 36

Companies, firms and other legal entities participating in such an operation shall be subject to the provisions governing their participation in the formation of a subsidiary in the form of a public limited-liability company under national law.

Section 5

Conversion of an existing public limited-liability company into an SE

Article 37

1. An SE may be formed in accordance with Article 2(4).

2. Without prejudice to Article 12 the conversion of a public limited-liability company into an SE shall not result in the winding up of the company or in the creation of a new legal person.

3. The registered office may not be transferred from one Member State to another pursuant to Article 8 at the same time as the conversion is effected.

4. The management or administrative organ of the company in question shall draw up draft terms of conversion and a report explaining and justifying the legal and economic aspects of the conversion and indicating the implications for the shareholders and for the employees of the adoption of the form of an SE.

5. The draft terms of conversion shall be publicised in the manner laid down in each Member State's law in accordance with Article 3 of Directive 68/151/EEC at least one month before the general meeting called upon to decide thereon.

6. Before the general meeting referred to in paragraph 7 one or more independent experts appointed or approved, in accordance with the national provisions adopted in implementation of Article 10 of Directive 78/855/EEC, by a judicial or administrative authority in the Member State to which the company being converted into an SE is subject shall certify in compliance with Directive 77/91/EEC(8) mutatis mutandis that the company has net assets at least equivalent to its capital plus those reserves which must not be distributed under the law or the Statutes.

7. The general meeting of the company in question shall approve the draft terms of conversion together with the statutes of the SE. The decision of the general meeting shall be passed as laid down in the provisions of national law adopted in implementation of Article 7 of Directive 78/855/EEC.

8. Member States may condition a conversion to a favourable vote of a qualified majority or unanimity in the organ of the company to be converted within which employee participation is organised.

9. The rights and obligations of the company to be converted on terms and conditions of employment arising from national law, practice and individual employment contracts or employment relationships and existing at the date of the registration shall, by reason of such registration be transferred to the SE.

TITLE III

STRUCTURE OF THE SE

Article 38

Under the conditions laid down by this Regulation an SE shall comprise:

(a) a general meeting of shareholders and

(b) either a supervisory organ and a management organ (two-tier system) or an administrative organ (one-tier system) depending on the form adopted in the statutes.

Section 1

Two-tier system

Article 39

1. The management organ shall be responsible for managing the SE. A Member State may provide that a managing director or managing directors shall be responsible for the current management under the same conditions as for public limited-liability companies that have registered offices within that Member State's territory.

2. The member or members of the management organ shall be appointed and removed by the supervisory organ.

A Member State may, however, require or permit the statutes to provide that the member or members of the management organ shall be appointed and removed by the general meeting under the same conditions as for public limited-liability companies that have registered offices within its territory.

3. No person may at the same time be a member of both the management organ and the supervisory organ of the same SE. The supervisory organ may, however, nominate one of its members to act as a member of the management organ in the event of a vacancy. During such a period the functions of the person concerned as a member of the supervisory organ shall be suspended. A Member State may impose a time limit on such a period.

4. The number of members of the management organ or the rules for determining it shall be laid down in the SE's statutes. A Member State may, however, fix a minimum and/or a maximum number.

5. Where no provision is made for a two-tier system in relation to public limited-liability companies with registered offices within its territory, a Member State may adopt the appropriate measures in relation to SEs.

Article 40

1. The supervisory organ shall supervise the work of the management organ. It may not itself exercise the power to manage the SE.

2. The members of the supervisory organ shall be appointed by the general meeting. The members of the first supervisory organ may, however, be appointed by the statutes. This shall apply without prejudice to Article 47(4) or to any employee participation arrangements determined pursuant to Directive 2001/86/EC.

3. The number of members of the supervisory organ or the rules for determining it shall be laid down in the statutes. A Member State may, however, stipulate the number of members of the supervisory organ for SEs registered within its territory or a minimum and/or a maximum number.

Article 41

1. The management organ shall report to the supervisory organ at least once every three months on the progress and foreseeable development of the SE's business.

2. In addition to the regular information referred to in paragraph 1, the management organ shall promptly pass the supervisory organ any information on events likely to have an appreciable effect on the SE.

3. The supervisory organ may require the management organ to provide information of any kind which it needs to exercise supervision in accordance with Article 40(1). A Member State may provide that each member of the supervisory organ also be entitled to this facility.

4. The supervisory organ may undertake or arrange for any investigations necessary for the performance of its duties.

5. Each member of the supervisory organ shall be entitled to examine all information submitted to it.

Article 42

The supervisory organ shall elect a chairman from among its members. If half of the members are appointed by employees, only a member appointed by the general meeting of shareholders may be elected chairman.

Section 2

The one-tier system

Article 43

1. The administrative organ shall manage the SE. A Member State may provide that a managing director or managing directors shall be responsible for the day-to-day management under the same conditions as for public limited-liability companies that have registered offices within that Member State's territory.

2. The number of members of the administrative organ or the rules for determining it shall be laid down in the SE's statutes. A Member State may, however, set a minimum and, where necessary, a maximum number of members.

The administrative organ shall, however, consist of at least three members where employee participation is regulated in accordance with Directive 2001/86/EC.

3. The member or members of the administrative organ shall be appointed by the general meeting. The members of the first administrative organ may, however, be appointed by the statutes. This shall apply without prejudice to Article 47(4) or to any employee participation arrangements determined pursuant to Directive 2001/86/EC.

4. Where no provision is made for a one-tier system in relation to public limited-liability companies with registered offices within its territory, a Member State may adopt the appropriate measures in relation to SEs.

Article 44

1. The administrative organ shall meet at least once every three months at intervals laid down by the statutes to discuss the progress and foreseeable development of the SE's business.

2. Each member of the administrative organ shall be entitled to examine all information submitted to it.

Article 45

The administrative organ shall elect a chairman from among its members. If half of the members are appointed by employees, only a member appointed by the general meeting of shareholders may be elected chairman.

Section 3

Rules common to the one-tier and two-tier systems

Article 46

1. Members of company organs shall be appointed for a period laid down in the statutes not exceeding six years.

2. Subject to any restrictions laid down in the statutes, members may be reappointed once or more than once for the period determined in accordance with paragraph 1.

Article 47

1. An SE's statutes may permit a company or other legal entity to be a member of one of its organs, provided that the law applicable to public limited-liability companies in the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated does not provide otherwise.

That company or other legal entity shall designate a natural person to exercise its functions on the organ in question.

2. No person may be a member of any SE organ or a representative of a member within the meaning of paragraph 1 who:

(a) is disqualified, under the law of the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated, from serving on the corresponding organ of a public limited-liability company governed by the law of that Member State, or

(b) is disqualified from serving on the corresponding organ of a public limited-liability company governed by the law of a Member State owing to a judicial or administrative decision delivered in a Member State.

3. An SE's statutes may, in accordance with the law applicable to public limited-liability companies in the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated, lay down special conditions of eligibility for members representing the shareholders.

4. This Regulation shall not affect national law permitting a minority of shareholders or other persons or authorities to appoint some of the members of a company organ.

Article 48

1. An SE's statutes shall list the categories of transactions which require authorisation of the management organ by the supervisory organ in the two-tier system or an express decision by the administrative organ in the one-tier system.

A Member State may, however, provide that in the two-tier system the supervisory organ may itself make certain categories of transactions subject to authorisation.

2. A Member State may determine the categories of transactions which must at least be indicated in the statutes of SEs registered within its territory.

Article 49

The members of an SE's organs shall be under a duty, even after they have ceased to hold office, not to divulge any information which they have concerning the SE the disclosure of which might be prejudicial to the company's interests, except where such disclosure is required or permitted under national law provisions applicable to public limited-liability companies or is in the public interest.

Article 50

1. Unless otherwise provided by this Regulation or the statutes, the internal rules relating to quorums and decision-taking in SE organs shall be as follows:

(a) quorum: at least half of the members must be present or represented;

(b) decision-taking: a majority of the members present or represented.

2. Where there is no relevant provision in the statutes, the chairman of each organ shall have a casting vote in the event of a tie. There shall be no provision to the contrary in the statutes, however, where half of the supervisory organ consists of employees' representatives.

3. Where employee participation is provided for in accordance with Directive 2001/86/EC, a Member State may provide that the supervisory organ's quorum and decision-making shall, by way of derogation from the provisions referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, be subject to the rules applicable, under the same conditions, to public limited-liability companies governed by the law of the Member State concerned.

Article 51

Members of an SE's management, supervisory and administrative organs shall be liable, in accordance with the provisions applicable to public limited-liability companies in the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated, for loss or damage sustained by the SE following any breach on their part of the legal, statutory or other obligations inherent in their duties.

Section 4

General meeting

Article 52

The general meeting shall decide on matters for which it is given sole responsibility by:

(a) this Regulation or

(b) the legislation of the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated adopted in implementation of Directive 2001/86/EC.

Furthermore, the general meeting shall decide on matters for which responsibility is given to the general meeting of a public limited-liability company governed by the law of the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated, either by the law of that Member State or by the SE's statutes in accordance with that law.

Article 53

Without prejudice to the rules laid down in this section, the organisation and conduct of general meetings together with voting procedures shall be governed by the law applicable to public limited-liability companies in the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated.

Article 54

1. An SE shall hold a general meeting at least once each calendar year, within six months of the end of its financial year, unless the law of the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated applicable to public limited-liability companies carrying on the same type of activity as the SE provides for more frequent meetings. A Member State may, however, provide that the first general meeting may be held at any time in the 18 months following an SE's incorporation.

2. General meetings may be convened at any time by the management organ, the administrative organ, the supervisory organ or any other organ or competent authority in accordance with the national law applicable to public limited-liability companies in the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated.

Article 55

1. One or more shareholders who together hold at least 10 % of an SE's subscribed capital may request the SE to convene a general meeting and draw up the agenda therefor; the SE's statutes or national legislation may provide for a smaller proportion under the same conditions as those applicable to public limited-liability companies.

2. The request that a general meeting be convened shall state the items to be put on the agenda.

3. If, following a request made under paragraph 1, a general meeting is not held in due time and, in any event, within two months, the competent judicial or administrative authority within the jurisdiction of which the SE's registered office is situated may order that a general meeting be convened within a given period or authorise either the shareholders who have requested it or their representatives to convene a general meeting. This shall be without prejudice to any national provisions which allow the shareholders themselves to convene general meetings.

Article 56

One or more shareholders who together hold at least 10 % of an SE's subscribed capital may request that one or more additional items be put on the agenda of any general meeting. The procedures and time limits applicable to such requests shall be laid down by the national law of the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated or, failing that, by the SE's statutes. The above proportion may be reduced by the statutes or by the law of the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated under the same conditions as are applicable to public limited-liability companies.

Article 57

Save where this Regulation or, failing that, the law applicable to public limited-liability companies in the Member State in which an SE's registered office is situated requires a larger majority, the general meeting's decisions shall be taken by a majority of the votes validly cast.

Article 58

The votes cast shall not include votes attaching to shares in respect of which the shareholder has not taken part in the vote or has abstained or has returned a blank or spoilt ballot paper.

Article 59

1. Amendment of an SE's statutes shall require a decision by the general meeting taken by a majority which may not be less than two thirds of the votes cast, unless the law applicable to public limited-liability companies in the Member State in which an SE's registered office is situated requires or permits a larger majority.

2. A Member State may, however, provide that where at least half of an SE's subscribed capital is represented, a simple majority of the votes referred to in paragraph 1 shall suffice.

3. Amendments to an SE's statutes shall be publicised in accordance with Article 13.

Article 60

1. Where an SE has two or more classes of shares, every decision by the general meeting shall be subject to a separate vote by each class of shareholders whose class rights are affected thereby.

2. Where a decision by the general meeting requires the majority of votes specified in Article 59(1) or (2), that majority shall also be required for the separate vote by each class of shareholders whose class rights are affected by the decision.

TITLE IV

ANNUAL ACCOUNTS AND CONSOLIDATED ACCOUNTS

Article 61

Subject to Article 62 an SE shall be governed by the rules applicable to public limited-liability companies under the law of the Member State in which its registered office is situated as regards the preparation of its annual and, where appropriate, consolidated accounts including the accompanying annual report and the auditing and publication of those accounts.

Article 62

1. An SE which is a credit or financial institution shall be governed by the rules laid down in the national law of the Member State in which its registered office is situated in implementation of Directive 2000/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 March 2000 relating to the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions(9) as regards the preparation of its annual and, where appropriate, consolidated accounts, including the accompanying annual report and the auditing and publication of those accounts.

2. An SE which is an insurance undertaking shall be governed by the rules laid down in the national law of the Member State in which its registered office is situated in implementation of Council Directive 91/674/EEC of 19 December 1991 on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of insurance undertakings(10) as regards the preparation of its annual and, where appropriate, consolidated accounts including the accompanying annual report and the auditing and publication of those accounts.

TITLE V

WINDING UP, LIQUIDATION, INSOLVENCY AND CESSATION OF PAYMENTS

Article 63

As regards winding up, liquidation, insolvency, cessation of payments and similar procedures, an SE shall be governed by the legal provisions which would apply to a public limited-liability company formed in accordance with the law of the Member State in which its registered office is situated, including provisions relating to decision-making by the general meeting.

Article 64

1. When an SE no longer complies with the requirement laid down in Article 7, the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated shall take appropriate measures to oblige the SE to regularise its position within a specified period either:

(a) by re-establishing its head office in the Member State in which its registered office is situated or

(b) by transferring the registered office by means of the procedure laid down in Article 8.

2. The Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated shall put in place the measures necessary to ensure that an SE which fails to regularise its position in accordance with paragraph 1 is liquidated.

3. The Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated shall set up a judicial remedy with regard to any established infringement of Article 7. That remedy shall have a suspensory effect on the procedures laid down in paragraphs 1 and 2.

4. Where it is established on the initiative of either the authorities or any interested party that an SE has its head office within the territory of a Member State in breach of Article 7, the authorities of that Member State shall immediately inform the Member State in which the SE's registered office is situated.

Article 65

Without prejudice to provisions of national law requiring additional publication, the initiation and termination of winding up, liquidation, insolvency or cessation of payment procedures and any decision to continue operating shall be publicised in accordance with Article 13.

Article 66

1. An SE may be converted into a public limited-liability company governed by the law of the Member State in which its registered office is situated. No decision on conversion may be taken before two years have elapsed since its registration or before the first two sets of annual accounts have been approved.

2. The conversion of an SE into a public limited-liability company shall not result in the winding up of the company or in the creation of a new legal person.

3. The management or administrative organ of the SE shall draw up draft terms of conversion and a report explaining and justifying the legal and economic aspects of the conversion and indicating the implications of the adoption of the public limited-liability company for the shareholders and for the employees.

4. The draft terms of conversion shall be publicised in the manner laid down in each Member State's law in accordance with Article 3 of Directive 68/151/EEC at least one month before the general meeting called to decide thereon.

5. Before the general meeting referred to in paragraph 6, one or more independent experts appointed or approved, in accordance with the national provisions adopted in implementation of Article 10 of Directive 78/855/EEC, by a judicial or administrative authority in the Member State to which the SE being converted into a public limited-liability company is subject shall certify that the company has assets at least equivalent to its capital.

6. The general meeting of the SE shall approve the draft terms of conversion together with the statutes of the public limited-liability company. The decision of the general meeting shall be passed as laid down in the provisions of national law adopted in implementation of Article 7 of Directive 78/855/EEC.

TITLE VI

ADDITIONAL AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Article 67

1. If and so long as the third phase of economic and monetary union (EMU) does not apply to it each Member State may make SEs with registered offices within its territory subject to the same provisions as apply to public limited-liability companies covered by its legislation as regards the expression of their capital. An SE may, in any case, express its capital in euro as well. In that event the national currency/euro conversion rate shall be that for the last day of the month preceding that of the formation of the SE.

2. If and so long as the third phase of EMU does not apply to the Member State in which an SE has its registered office, the SE may, however, prepare and publish its annual and, where appropriate, consolidated accounts in euro. The Member State may require that the SE's annual and, where appropriate, consolidated accounts be prepared and published in the national currency under the same conditions as those laid down for public limited-liability companies governed by the law of that Member State. This shall not prejudge the additional possibility for an SE of publishing its annual and, where appropriate, consolidated accounts in euro in accordance with Council Directive 90/604/EEC of 8 November 1990 amending Directive 78/60/EEC on annual accounts and Directive 83/349/EEC on consolidated accounts as concerns the exemptions for small and medium-sized companies and the publication of accounts in ecu(11).

TITLE VII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 68

1. The Member States shall make such provision as is appropriate to ensure the effective application of this Regulation.

2. Each Member State shall designate the competent authorities within the meaning of Articles 8, 25, 26, 54, 55 and 64. It shall inform the Commission and the other Member States accordingly.

Article 69

Five years at the latest after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall forward to the Council and the European Parliament a report on the application of the Regulation and proposals for amendments, where appropriate. The report shall, in particular, analyse the appropriateness of:

(a) allowing the location of an SE's head office and registered office in different Member States;

(b) broadening the concept of merger in Article 17(2) in order to admit also other types of merger than those defined in Articles 3(1) and 4(1) of Directive 78/855/EEC;

(c) revising the jurisdiction clause in Article 8(16) in the light of any provision which may have been inserted in the 1968 Brussels Convention or in any text adopted by Member States or by the Council to replace such Convention;

(d) allowing provisions in the statutes of an SE adopted by a Member State in execution of authorisations given to the Member States by this Regulation or laws adopted to ensure the effective application of this Regulation in respect to the SE which deviate from or are complementary to these laws, even when such provisions would not be authorised in the statutes of a public limited-liability company having its registered office in the Member State.

Article 70

This Regulation shall enter into force on 8 October 2004.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Luxembourg, 8 October 2001.

For the Council

The President

L. Onkelinx

(1) OJ C 263, 16.10.1989, p. 41 and OJ C 176, 8.7.1991, p. 1.

(2) Opinion of 4 September 2001 (not yet published in the Official Journal).

(3) OJ C 124, 21.5.1990, p. 34.

(4) See p. 22 of this Official Journal.

(5) OJ L 395, 30.12.1989, p. 40. Directive as last amended by the 1994 Act of Accession.

(6) OJ L 65, 14.3.1968, p. 8. Directive as last amended by the 1994 Act of Accession.

(7) OJ L 295, 20.10.1978, p. 36. Directive as last amended by the 1994 Act of Accession.

(8) Second Council Directive 77/91/EEC of 13 December 1976 on coordination of safeguards which, for the protection of the interests of members and others, are required by Member States of companies within the meaning of the second paragraph of Article 58 of the Treaty, in respect of the formation of public limited liability companies and the maintenance and alteration of their capital, with a view to making such safeguards equivalent (OJ L 26, 31.1.1977, p. 1). Directive as last amended by the 1994 Act of Accession.

(9) OJ L 126, 26.5.2000, p. 1.

(10) OJ L 374, 31.12.1991, p. 7.

(11) OJ L 317, 16.11.1990, p. 57.

ANNEX I

PUBLIC LIMITED-LIABILITY COMPANIES REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 2(1)

BELGIUM:

la société anonyme/de naamloze vennootschap

DENMARK:

aktieselskaber

GERMANY:

die Aktiengesellschaft

GREECE:

áíí áéá

SPAIN:

la sociedad annima

FRANCE:

la société anonyme

IRELAND:

public companies limited by shares

public companies limited by guarantee having a share capital

ITALY:

societ per azioni

LUXEMBOURG:

la société anonyme

NETHERLANDS:

de naamloze vennootschap

AUSTRIA:

die Aktiengesellschaft

PORTUGAL:

a sociedade annima de responsabilidade limitada

FINLAND:

julkinen osakeyhti/publikt aktiebolag

SWEDEN:

publikt aktiebolag

UNITED KINGDOM:

public companies limited by shares

public companies limited by guarantee having a share capital

ANNEX II

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIMITED-LIABILITY COMPANIES REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 2(2)

BELGIUM:

la société anonyme/de naamloze vennootschap,

la société privée responsabilité limitée//besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid

DENMARK:

aktieselskaber,

anpartselskaber

GERMANY:

die Aktiengesellschaft,

die Gesellschaft mit beschrnkter Haftung

GREECE:

áíí áéá

áéá ééí í

SPAIN:

la sociedad annima,

la sociedad de responsabilidad limitada

FRANCE:

la société anonyme,

la société responsabilité limitée

IRELAND:

public companies limited by shares,

public companies limited by guarantee having a share capital,

private companies limited by shares,

private companies limited by guarantee having a share capital

ITALY:

societ per azioni,

societ a responsabilit limitata

LUXEMBOURG:

la société anonyme,

la société responsabilité limitée

NETHERLANDS:

de naamloze vennootschap,

de besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid

AUSTRIA:

die Aktiengesellschaft,

die Gesellschaft mit beschrnkter Haftung

PORTUGAL:

a sociedade annima de responsabilidade limitada,

a sociedade por quotas de responsabilidade limitada

FINLAND:

osakeyhti

aktiebolag

SWEDEN:

aktiebolag

UNITED KINGDOM:

public companies limited by shares,

public companies limited by guarantee having a share capital,

private companies limited by shares,

private companies limited by guarantee having a share capital

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GIVEN under my Official Seal,

22 January 2007

MICHEÁL MARTIN

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation).

These Regulations along with the European Communities (European Public Limited-Liability Company) Forms Regulations 2006 give full effect to Council Regulation (EC) No. 2157/2001 of 8 October 2001 on the Statute for a European company (SE).

It is a new legal instrument based on European Community law that gives companies with commercial interests in more than one Member State the option of forming a European Company known formally by its Latin name of ‘Societas Europaea’ (SE). The European Company Statute makes it easier for companies to expand and to manage cross-border operations without the red tape of having to set up a network of subsidiaries.

1 OJ L294, 10.11.2001

2 OJ L294, 10.11.2001