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3.4 European Company and Cooperative

3.4. European Company and European Cooperative Society. Tax treatment.

3.4.1 The European Company


The EU’s Council of Ministers on 8th October 2001 adopted the Regulation to establish a European Company Statute (ECS) and on the related Directive concerning worker involvement in European Companies. The European Company (known by its Latin name of ‘Societas Europaea’ or SE) become a reality some 30 years after it was first proposed. The SE gives companies operating in more than one Member State the option of being established as a single company under Community law and so able to operate throughout the EU with one set of rules and a unified management and reporting system rather than all the different national laws of each Member State where they have subsidiaries. For companies active across the Internal Market, the European Company therefore offers the prospect of reduced administrative costs and a legal structure for their pan-European operations. The European Company may enable companies to expand and restructure their cross-border operations without the costly and time-consuming red tape of having to set up a network of subsidiaries.

Under the European Company Statute, a European Company can be set up by the creation of a holding company or a joint subsidiary or by the merger of companies located in at least two Member States or by the conversion of an existing company set up under national law.