European Company Law 1999-2010: Renaissance and Crisis

49 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2010 Last revised: 27 Jan 2011

John Armour

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; University of Oxford - Said Business School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Wolf-Georg Ringe

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics; University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 14, 2010

Abstract

European corporate law has enjoyed a renaissance in the past decade. Fifteen years ago, this would have seemed most implausible. In the mid-1990s, the early integration strategy of seeking to harmonise substantive company law seemed to have been stalled by the need to reconcile fundamental differences in approaches to corporate governance. Little was happening, and the grand vision of the early pioneers appeared more dream than ambition. Yet since then, a combination of adventurous decisions by the Court of Justice, innovative approaches to legislation by the Commission, and disastrous crises in capital markets has produced a headlong rush of reform activity. The volume and pace of change has been such that few have had time to digest it: not least policymakers, with the consequence that the developments have not always been well coordinated. The recent 2007/08 financial crisis has yet again thrown many - quite fundamental - issues into question. In this article, we offer an overview that puts the most significant developments of this decade into context, alongside each other and the changing patterns of corporate structure in European countries.

Keywords: European corporate law, European law, company law, European securities law

JEL Classification: K22

Suggested Citation

Armour, John and Ringe, Wolf-Georg, European Company Law 1999-2010: Renaissance and Crisis (December 14, 2010). ECGI - Law Working Paper No. 175/2011; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 63/2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1691688 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1691688

John Armour (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

Oriel College
Oxford, OX1 4EW
United Kingdom
+44 1865 286544 (Phone)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Wolf-Georg Ringe

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany
+49 40 42838 7787 (Phone)
+49 40 42838 6794 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ile-hamburg.de

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/people/wolf-georg-ringe

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