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Better access to European company information?
Tuesday, 22nd December 2009
The European Commission (EC) has recently announced initiatives aimed at facilitating access to company information across Europe. In November, it published a Green Paper outlining the current mechanisms for cooperation between company registries and requested input on the way forward (see http://www.vivavip.com/go/e27213 for details).
Launching the public consultation on possible ways of enhancing co-operation between business registers, Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy linked the need for improved company information to the economic situation.
"The current financial crisis highlighted once again the importance of transparency across the financial markets. Improving access to up-to-date and official information on companies for creditors, business partners and consumers could serve a means to restore confidence in the markets. Business registers play an important role in ensuring transparency and legal certainty in Europe. I encourage all interested parties to give us their views on the possible ways to enhance their co-operation," he said in a press release.
Responses to the consultation will be taken into account in deciding what measures are needed to improve access to business information and to increase legal certainty surrounding cross-border operations in the European Union.
If you want to have your say, you need to move quickly - the deadline for responses is 31 January 2010. Further information can be accessed from the EC press release (http://digbig.com/5bawbt). Details of how to respond to the consultation are also provided on the EC website (http://digbig.com/5bawby).
The EC has also published a Progress Report on the interconnection of European business registers (http://digbig.com/5bawca). It outlines the current status of the European Business Register initiative and progress of the BRITE research project, aimed at developing technological solutions for the interoperability of business registers throughout Europe.
Of particular interest to researchers is the European e-Justice portal, which is still under preparation. Once in place, the portal will be the key point of access to legal information, legal and administrative institutions, registers, databases and other services, according to the Progress Report. A first version of the e-Justice portal was due to go live in December 2009 but I was unable to locate it on the EC website when I searched for it.
The European company information provider GBRDirect has drawn attention to the ECís plans on its website (http://digbig.com/5bawcb). GBRís Robert Leslie has also set up a LinkedIn Group called Global Business Register to discuss the issues raised and other matters pertaining to financial compliance and company research.
By Michele Bate
Michele has over 20 years' business research experience, gained in corporate investigations, banking, corporate finance, executive search and management consultancy. Before becoming a freelance researcher more than a decade ago she was the Research Director for the corporate investigations practice of Control Risks Group. Her company Archer Van Den Broeck offers a bespoke research service, specialising in due diligence, litigation support and other investigative research. Michele is an active member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals.
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