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New EU insolvency rules give troubled businesses a chance to start anew [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Carla Stamegna (1st edition),

Restructuring word cloud

© ibreakstock / Fotolia

In 2012, the Commission proposed to recast the 2000 Insolvency Regulation in order to address the cross-border aspects of insolvency in the EU. Adopted in 2015, the recast regulation introduced clear rules on the jurisdiction and law applicable to a debtor’s insolvency proceedings and made mandatory the recognition of those proceedings in other EU Member States. Its remit was expanded to include not only bankruptcy but also hybrid and pre-insolvency proceedings, as well as debt discharges and debt adjustments for natural persons (consumers and sole traders).

In late 2016, as a further step and a follow up to the Insolvency Recommendation of 2014, the Commission proposed to adopt a directive on business restructuring, which would provide new legal tools to rescue viable businesses in distress and give honest but bankrupt entrepreneurs a second chance. The proposal focuses on three key elements: common principles on early restructuring tools, which would help companies to continue operating and preserve jobs; rules to allow entrepreneurs to benefit from a second chance through a discharge of debt; and targeted measures allowing Member States to increase the efficiency of insolvency, restructuring and discharge procedures. The initiative is a key deliverable under the capital markets union action plan. It will also contribute substantially to addressing the high levels of non-performing loans in banks’ balance sheets. The draft report was presented to the Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) in September 2017. In May 2018 the Council reached agreement on part of the proposal.


Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventive restructuring frameworks, second chance and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures and amending Directive 2012/30/EU
Committee responsible: Legal Affairs (JURI) COM(2016) 723
Rapporteur: Angelika Niebler (EPP, Germany) 2016/0359(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:



Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (S&D, Italy)
Kosma Złotowski (ECR, Poland)
António Marinho E Pinto (ALDE, Portugal)
Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL, Czech Republic)
Joëlle Bergeron (EFDD, France)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Vote in committee on the draft report

Stage: Committee vote


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