Legal certainty for European companies (SEs) during COVID-19 crisis
Temporary rules protect SEs and SCEs from unhelpful litigation
Today, due to the COVID-19-crisis, European companies aka Societas Europaea (SE) and European cooperative societies (SCE) have received urgently needed legal certainty about rules for obligatory general meetings. A temporary amendment entered into force today (published yesterday in the Official Journal of the EU), allowing SE’s and SCE’s to derive from the legal obligation to hold general meetings within six months of the end of the financial year.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "It would have been very difficult for many SEs and SCEs to hold general meetings under the current COVID-19 state measures within the first six months of the year. We strongly welcome this solution. From the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, BusinessEurope had identified this problem, arguing that a targeted and temporary change of the SE regulation would be the best legal solution.
Many EU member states had already taken measures regarding national company forms, including the welcome possibility of virtual meetings, but SE and SCE statutes are both EU regulations, so the key to solving this problem was largely in the hands of the EU.
European companies now have sufficient legal certainty and the agreed amendment protects companies from future litigation around the organisation of this year's annual general meetings."