Publication Details

This article was originally published as Marychurch, JM, Societas Europaea: Harmonization or Proliferation of Corporations Law in the European Union?, Australian International Law Journal, 2002, 80-105. Journal information available here.


A significant development was made recently to the range of corporate forms available to businesses operating in the European Union (EU). A company's incorporation, regulation and dissolution had hitherto been the sole domain of the EU's member states. On 8 October 2001, this changed when Council Regulation (EC) No 2157/ 2001 on the Statute for a European Company (the Regulation) was adopted, making the form of a European company or Societas Europaea (SE) open to some businesses in the EU after the Regulation enters into effect. This article will examine the form and analyse the likely impact the national law and legal culture of EU member states will have on the structure and form. It will demonstrate that the Regulation will contribute more significantly to the proliferation of corporate law in the EU than to its harmonisation.

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