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Discussing Business Rescue in Europe

From 24-26 September 2014 the European Law Institute (‘ELI’) held its annual Projects Conference and General Assembly, this year in Zagreb (Croatia). ELI Projects were presented and extensively discussed during the Projects Conference. Professor Bob Wessels, one of the Project Reporters, presented the Business Rescue Project during a plenary session and the Members Consultative Meeting (’MCC’) meeting.

Croation State Archives,
Venue for the ELI 2014 Projects Conference

During the plenary session, Bob Wessels placed the project in perspective by provided a short background on business rescue at a European level. He distinguished three phases: 1) the period up to 2002 where insolvency was a marginal topic included in two directives only; 2) a new phases started in 2002 when the European Insolvency Regulation came into force (dealing with procedural rules on cross-border insolvencies); 3) as of 2011 harmonising (aspects) of insolvency law was proposed to reduce some of the differences between Member States.

Since the proposal by the European Parliament in November 2011 business rescue has been a central theme on the insolvency agenda. On 12 March 2014 the European Commission presented the Recommendation on a New approach to business failure and insolvency. Studies have also looked in to business rescue in Europe and distinguished some six common tendencies. An article by Bob Wessels that describes, among others, these tendencies in business rescue can be downloaded here. Subsequently an overview of the project outline, recent developments and challenges for the project were presented.  The ultimate aim of the Business Rescue project is to design a framework that will enable the further development of coherent and functional rules for business rescue in Europe. Currently some 26 National Correspondents are preparing national inventory reports on their domestic insolvency laws. This phase will be concluded with an international two-day-conference in March 2015 to discuss their reports, which will form the basis of the framework to be prepared by the Reporters. To download the  presentation for the plenary session, click here.

First meeting of the MCC

On 26 September a more in-depth session took place where several aspects of the project were discussed with the MCC. The MCC is open to all ELI members who have an interest in the project, with varying (legal) backgrounds they are asked to comment with their specific expertise on developments of the project. At this first meeting of the MCC professor Tatjana Josipović, University of Zagreb, was elected chair. Topics discussed during the meeting included the role of courts and insolvency practitioners in a business rescue, as well as core elements for a legal framework for business rescue. ELI members who are interested to join the MCC are invited to register via: businessrescue@europeanlawinstitute.eu.

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