The Council of the European Union adopted on 18 November a directive on cross-border conversions, mergers and divisions that provides clear procedures for companies to merge, divide or move within the single market. It also ensures that cross-border operations cannot be abused.

The Directive removes unjustified barriers to EU companies’ freedom of establishment, and includes safeguards to protect employees’ rights to be informed and to participate in the boards of companies.

“The new rules will give EU businesses more opportunities to move and grow by providing clear procedures for companies, which will cut costs and save time”, said Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality.

Because of the considerable savings envisaged by the directive, it will be beneficial to small and medium business, which are the backbone of Europe’s economy, representing 99% of all businesses in the EU.