The EPC (European Private Company) statute should provide a legal form for SMEs. A feasibility study was presented to the public on 13 December 2005. The study found there was great interest in this legal form. The same conclusion could be drawn from a public hearing of the European Parliament (EP) legal committee on 22 June 2006. Furthermore, the EP will soon provide a report on this issue, which will probably support the adoption of an EPC statute.
In the context of the EPC, employee participation will be an important subject. First of all it will be important to safeguard existing board-level participation rights. Moreover, it will be important to establish a special EPC works council along the lines of the SE directive.
It is probable that the Commission will come out with a proposal but a final decision on this matter has not yet been taken. In its summary report on the recent consultation the Commission noted: ‘About 10% of those who responded to the question suggested the inclusion of rules on employee participation in the proposed regulation. Among the respondents who referred to that issue there were proposals to either follow the rules of the SE in that respect, limit the application of the Statute to companies with fewer than 500 employees or seek a compromise.