Magazine article European Social Policy

Company Law : New Consultation on European Foundation Statute

Magazine article European Social Policy

Company Law : New Consultation on European Foundation Statute

Article excerpt

The idea of a European foundation statute has been around since 2003. The European Commission has not taken a decision yet on the need to legislate on this matter and is consequently launching a new consultation to gather additional input. A questionnaire, published on 16 February, is meant to determine whether it is necessary and desirable to create a new legal form and the content of a possible European foundation statute. The consultation will run until 15 May.

Last June, Alain Coheur, president of Social Economic Europe (which represents the social economy at European level) called for such a European statute for foundations and associations. "Yes, we need a legislative framework," he stated in an interview: "Currently, the EU's legislative system is designed for the lucrative capitalist sector, not for our sector. Banking, fisheries and agricultural cooperatives consequently come under fire in a number of countries over their statute and tax regime, which are more favourable than those for private companies in Spain, France, Norway and Italy, for example. Yet these tax advantages are needed to allow for development while responding to other needs and according to criteria other than the market."

The consultation is related to a feasibility study also made public by the Commission, on 16 February. Carried out jointly by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (Hamburg) and the University of Heidelberg, the study analyses the main types of foundations in the member states. …

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