Company Restructuring (Green Paper)

In its Restructuring Green Paper, the Commission calls upon all Member States to make use of instruments such as short-time working schemes, working time accounts and corporate work alliances during times of crisis, as they are suitable for safeguarding jobs. Moreover, it proposes reforms of the tax and benefit schemes in order to minimize the impact of the crisis on the labour market. In the case of company restructurings due to economic changes, the Commission requests an early involvement of “all relevant stakeholders” and a harmonisation of parts of the insolvency law. Thus the chances of future adjustment measures of restructuring processes are to be improved. Moreover, “amendments” of employment termination rules are to safeguard a high level of employment and social protection.


The Commission is right in calling upon Member States to make use of successful labour market instruments in future crises and in proposing a reform of the tax and benefit schemes in order to create incentives. The Commission’s ideas on amendments relating to employment termination rules are however problematic as they cannot improve entrepreneurial flexibility and the social protection of employees at the same time. The EU does not have the competency to harmonize national insolvency codes.