Company law and corporate governance, as well as accounting and auditing, are essential for the good functioning of the Internal Market. They foster efficiency and competitiveness in business and promote cross-border cooperation between companies in different Member States.
The body of acts on company law in the EEA Agreement exists to a large extent to facilitate the exercise of the right of establishment. There is a legal framework in the EEA Agreement for different types of European companies. These statutes allow companies incorporated in several EEA Member States to merge or form a joint subsidiary or holding company whilst avoiding the legal constraints and obstacles usually faced when having to comply with the different national legal systems. This framework also provides for the involvement of employees.
Following the financial crisis, the modernisation of company law and corporate governance has become a key priority for the European Commission, and certain rules on the protection of shareholders, creditors and other third parties have been harmonised to limit the risks due to the significant differences in EEA Member States' company law.