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Interconnection of business registers



The Council today adopted a directive (1) setting up a system for the interconnection of central, commercial and companies registers aimed at improving access to up-to-date and trustworthy information on companies (5/12 and 9358/12 ADD1).



Under the new directive, all EU member states engage in enabling electronic communication between registers and transmitting information to individual users in a standardised way, by means of identical content and interoperable technologies, throughout the Union.

It constitutes a response to the increasing demand for access to information on companies in a cross-border context and will contribute to create a more business-friendly legal and fiscal environment, as well as to reduce administrative burdens.

A voluntary cooperation mechanism between the business registers in Europe already exists but it is limited to certain types of information and does not cover every member state. It is therefore not sufficient to meet the needs for information induced by business activity in the single market. Its business model has not appealed to potential users. The interoperability of registers should be ensured through the member states' delivery of information from their registers, by providing services which will constitute interfaces to a European central platform. This platform will be a centralised set of information technology tools and services, used by all domestic registers. The European e-Justice Portal (2) will serve as one of the electronic access points.

Companies and their branches in other member states will have a unique identifier that allows them to be unequivocally identified.

(1) The directive was adopted without discussion at the Education/Youth/Culture/Sport Council meeting. It follows an agreement with the European Parliament at first reading.
(2) https://e-justice.europa.eu


A multi-language support will facilitate access and use of information both for consumers and businesses.

The new directive requires an update of three existing company law directives:
– 89/666/EEC on the requirements of branches opened in other member states;
– 2005/56/EC on cross-border mergers of limited liability companies; and
– 2009/101/EC on coordination of safeguards, which ensures, amongst other things, that documents and particulars stored in the register can be accessed.

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Brussels, 10 May 2012
www.consilium.europa.eu

Vendredi 11 Mai 2012
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