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description Journal article public Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology

Cross-border Business in the European Union and Statutory Disclosure Requirements: Using IT as a Catalyst for Further Market Integration

Kristof Maresceau, Michel Tison
Published 2008

Abstract

This paper highlights the gap between the opportunities for EU-companies to fully exploittheir freedom of establishment on the one hand and the obstacles flowing from the mainly nationalorganisation of information filing requirements through business registers on the other hand. Fromthe point of view of companies, this gap partly neutralises the efforts replayed both in EU regulationand ECJ jurisprudence to guarantee the freedom of establishment. Companies are not only oftenobliged to file the same information in different countries but, due to the lack of information sharingbetween the countries in which they are established, investors, creditors and other stakeholders maysuffer information asymmetries. We analyse the possible legal approaches towards organising thefiling of information in a network model. The design of a technical solution to improve the crossbordersharing of corporate data in order to decrease administrative burdens on the freedom lies atthe heart of the BRITE project. BRITE wishes to increase the interoperability of business registers,not only with a view to facilitating the cross-border establishment of companies, but also as a toolfor other users (including public authorities) who can benefit from the better dissemination of publiccompany data and the possibility to aggregate data at a European level. We submit that the Europeanlawmakers have not yet fully exploited the possibilities offered by linking national publicinformation systems into networks, although the Transparency Directive does envisage a networkapproach as regards the dissemination of company and financial information by listed companies.

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