ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

10 July: 6.15pm-8pm - followed by a cocktail reception - European Parliament room PHS7C050, Brussels

UEAPME and ACCA are delighted to invite you to a roundtable discussion that will seek to exchange views and practical experiences on how to encourage a rescue culture and how new rules could make cross-border insolvencies more efficient and appropriate to deal with the demands of businesses operating on an international basis, though without jeopardising legal certainty and creditors' rights.

A panel of experts will namely discuss whether the scope of the EU insolvency framework is sufficient or needs to be expanded to include pre-insolvency proceedings, whether there are problems with its interaction with other aspects of EU and national law - such as recognition, enforcement and national regimes, whether the costs of cross-border restructuring or reorganisation are disproportionate, and the challenges faced by the insolvency of groups

Panellists will also address how insolvency law can best address the needs of enterprises, including SMEs, and how legal procedures in cross-border insolvencies can be made less costly/bureaucratic, and assess to what extent harmonisation of insolvency law could facilitate further harmonisation of company law in the EU.

Insolvency law must strike the right balance between several objectives and foster discipline and transparency in financial management. It shall firstly try and avoid liquidation of potentially viable companies in facilitating their rehabilitation. When such a rehabilitation proves impossible, it aims to ensure orderly market exit of inefficient entities in protecting creditors' rights while safeguarding the interests of shareholders and customers.

The EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings came into force throughout the European Union, with the exception of Denmark, on 31 May 2002. It governs how the bankruptcies of both companies and individuals should be coordinated between several EU countries and aims to improve legal certainty as well as to encourage cooperation in cross-border cases. Ten years on from its introduction considerable changes in the economic and political environment, including the recent financial crisis, galloping globalisation and businesses relocations, require taking a fresh look at the regulation. The European Commission is thus now seeking to improve the current framework and remediate problems linked to its implementation and the disparity that arises from different national insolvency laws.

With about 600 businesses liquidated every day, insolvency is an essential part of a modern single market. It is the right timing to assess the general effectiveness of the EU insolvency regime and if there is room for improvement and modernisation. In the current financial climate it is also timely to consider whether the EU framework and national regimes do enough to encourage the rescue of viable businesses that are experiencing pressing short-term problems.

Please RSVP by 2 July at the latest.

For participants who do not have a permanent pass for the European Parliament, please send your following details, together with your registration, to cecile.bonino@accaglobal.com:

  • date and place of birth
  • nationality
  • passport or ID number

Draft agenda

5.45pm: Registration

6.15pm: Welcome speech - Sajjad Karim, MEP

6.25pm: Keynote speech - Paraskevi Michou, Director at the European Commission’s DG Justice

6.35pm: Roundtable moderated by John Davies, head of technical, ACCA

Panellists include:

  • Joanna Drake, Director, SMEs and Entrepreneurship, DG ENTR
  • Robert van Galen, chair of the EIR Review Group and board member of INSOL EUROPE – The professional association for European restructuring and insolvency specialists
  • Giulia Pusterla, The Italian Experience and CNDCEC board member
  • Catherine Burton, The UK Experience and Lawyer, DLA and UK insolvency trade body
  • Olivier Delaere, The Belgian Experience and Coordinator 'Tussenstap', Zenito, Belgium
  • Luc Hendrickx, Director, Enterprise and International Affairs, UEAPME

7.35pm: Q&As

8pm: Concluding remarks, MEP Karim

8.05pm: Cocktail reception