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European Cooperative Society (Directive 2003/72/EC)

The European Cooperative Society (SCE) aims to reduce existing cross-border obstacles for cooperatives and to make it easier for them to operate across European borders. The SCE thereby complements the legislation on European Companies (SE) which has enabled companies to set up as a European public limited company. As in the case of the SE, the SCE legislation consists of a Regulation on the Statute for an SCE (1435/2003) and an accompanying Directive on worker involvement (2003/72/EC). The Regulation came into force from 18 August 2006, by which date the member states also had to transpose the Directive into national law.

Background: "The SCE – The small sister of the SE"

The European Cooperative Society (SCE) constitutes another step in the completion of the EU’s internal market. It aims to reduce existing cross-border obstacles and to make it easier for companies to operate across European borders, thereby enhancing their competitiveness. In this sense, the SCE complements the legislation on European Companies (SE) which has enabled companies to set up as a European public limited company. The SCE fills the gap regarding the transnational activities of cooperatives. As in the case of the SE, the SCE legislation consists of a Regulation on the Statute for an SCE and an accompanying Directive on worker involvement. The Regulation came into force from 18 August 2006, by which date the member states also had to transpose the SCE directive into national law.

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EP report on European Cooperative Society (SCE)

 

The European Parliament adopted a resolution approving an own-initiative report on the SCE on 13 March 2012.

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EU consultation on the SCE

The Regulation requires the Commission to present a report on its application five years after its entry into force. The Commission launched a study which was finalised in October 2010. The responsible Directorate General Enterprise (the SME section) launched mid April 2011 a web-based consultation on the functioning of the European Cooperative Society, to which the ETUC has contributed with a critical assessment. In November 2011 the European Commission summarised the contributions received in a synthesis document.

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Further information 

Further information on the SCE can be found on the website of the EU Commission