A Third Way: Regional Restructuring and the Societas Europaea
The Societas Europaea (SE) harmonized minimal amounts of company law and assigned employee representation to a supplementary negotiation process. Commentators predicted that it would introduce cross-border regulatory competition within the EU. Others suggested that companies would choose the SE over other national corporate structures, in order to mitigate the requirements of mandatory codetermination. This paper reports case-study evidence to argue that companies are utilizing the SE in a third, more significant way: to facilitate within-group restructurings that enable them to submit to a simplified, integrated regulation at the level of the parent company. This generates pressure for the unification of additional areas of law and more national-level regulation. Empowering the SE therefore represents a first step towards streamlining the regulation of European companies.
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