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Business Rescue discussed at 2015 ELI Annual Conference

It was for the second time that the theme Business Rescue was discussed at the Annual Conference of the European Law Institute (ELI). It was for the second time that the theme Business Rescue was discussed at the Annual Conference of the ELI. In September 2014 as one of the reportes I presented a progress report on the first nine months of the project emphasizing the relevance of the topic and discussing the structure of the project. A year later the project has made incredible progress as the reporters received extensive inventory and normative reports on substantive national laws of a selection of thirteen EU Member States.

Key note speaker at this conference was Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. In the ELI Newsletter she already referred explicitly to this project:

‘Another very interesting project is “Rescue of Business in Insolvency Law”. We need a new approach to business failure and insolvency. I am determined to improve the conditions to get viable companies experiencing financial difficulties back to business and giving honest entrepreneurs a second chance. The aim is to boost growth, save jobs and create business opportunities. ELI´s work in this highly relevant area will be of great use for my project on insolvency reform in the EU.’

Also during her speech at the ELI Annual Conference she spoke on the issue of business rescue, where she among others said:

The ELI has recently put a lot of effort into research on insolvency law. Your conference on this topic in March was well attended.

All Member States have experienced an increasing number of bankruptcies in recent years, resulting in a loss of know-how and jobs.

To put a halt to this trend, we need to modernise the legal framework on insolvency in the EU. We have to focus on the restructuring of companies rather than their liquidation and to allow viable businesses to be saved. Honest entrepreneurs deserve a second chance. We took a first step in this direction in March 2014 with the Recommendation on a new approach to business failure and insolvency. 

However, there are currently still 28 different insolvency regimes. Predictability is key for an investment-friendly environment and a modern and more coherent approach to insolvency would help businesses assess the risk of their investment. It would be good to achieve a more common approach on the key principles. We are discussing this in the framework of the Capital Markets Union and the Internal Market Strategy. Your input would be highly valued.

At the 2015 Annual Conference there were two sessions devoted to business rescue, first a panel session and subsequently a Members Consultative Committee (MCC) meeting. For a short report on both these sessions, see the Report on Business Rescue Sessions at ELI’s 2015 Annual Conference (‘Perspectives on Business Rescue’). 

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