Preventive restructuring and second chance for entrepreneurs: what's in it for SMEs?

ACCA, BusinessEurope, and UEAPME presented a conference, organised under the auspices of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, discussing recent EU insolvency proposals and their impact on SMEs.

Event Background

In November 2016, the European Commission, as part of its single market strategy, published a proposal on preventive restructuring frameworks and second chance for entrepreneurs and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures, which entails two overarching objectives. The first consists in ensuring that any viable enterprise in financial difficulties located in the EU can have access to national preventive insolvency frameworks enabling its early restructuring, with a view to preventing insolvency. The second relates to giving honest bankrupt entrepreneurs a second chance.   

The Directive is  especially intended to benefit  less resourceful small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a welcomed objective. Naturally, the proposal also raises challenges and concerns given how insolvency rules affect a plethora of stakeholders (creditors, debtors, shareholders, courts, etc) and are deeply intertwined with many areas of law. Therefore, it is now timely to raise further awareness on this important initiative and to discuss the way it should be carried forward.

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), BusinessEurope, and UEAPME organised a conference, under the auspices of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, to discuss what’s in the insolvency proposals for SMEs. 

Event summary

Welcome speech, Markus Beyrer, Director-General BusinessEurope

Keynote speech, Andreas Stein, Head of Unit of the Civil Justice Unit, DG JUST , European Commission

Keynote speech, Angelika Niebler, MEP  & JURI Rapporteur on insolvency

Panel discussion moderated by John Cullen – ACCA Council member & Partner, Menzies

  • Luc Hendrickx, Director Enterprise Policy and External Relations -UEAPME
  • Philip Oosterlinck, Case-study SME
  • Gary Simmons, High Yield Managing Director, AFME
  • Hilde Blomme, Deputy-CEO, AccountancyEurope

Concluding remarks, Kevan Azzopardi, Official Receiver, MFSA, Chairman of the Council Working Party on civil law matters (Insolvency), Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Event video