Year of publication
- 1996 (4) (remove)
- English (4) (remove)
- Corporate governance systems in Europe : differences and tendencies of convergence ; Crafoord lecture (1996)
- The corporate governance systems in Europe differ markedly. Economists tend to use stylized models and distinguish between the Anglo-American, the German and the Latinist model.1 In this view, for instance, the Austrian, Dutch, German, and Swiss systems are said to be variations of one model. For lawyers the picture is of course, much more detailed as particular rules may vary even where common principles prevail. Many comparative studies on these differences have been undertaken meanwhile.2 I do not want to add another study but to treat a different question. Are there as a consequence of growing internationalization, globalization of markets and technological change, also tendencies of convergence of our corporate governance systems? My answer will be in two parts. As corporate governance systems are traditionally mainly shaped by legislation, the first part will analyze the influence of the economic and technological change on the rule-setting process itself. How does this process react to the fundamental environmental change? That includes a short analysis of the solution of centralized harmonizing of company law within the EU as well as the question of whether EU-wide competition between national corporate law legislators can be observed or be expected in the future. The second part will then turn to the national level. It deals with actual tendencies of convergence or, more correctly, of approach by the German corporate governance system to the Anglo-American one.
- The new draft proposal for a directive on takeovers : the German perspective (1996)
- The previous proposal for a company law directive on takeovers in 1990 was rejected in Germany almost unanimously for several different reasons. The new "slimmed down" draft proposal, in the light of the subsidiarity principle, takes the different approaches to investorprotection in the various member states better into account. Notably, the most controversial principle of the previous draft, viz. the mandatory bid rule as the only means of investorprotection in case of a change of control, has been given up. Therefore a much higher degree of acceptance seems likely. The Bundesrat (upper house) and the industry associations have already expressed their consent; the Bundestag (Federal Parliament) will deal with the proposal shortly. The technique of a "frame directive" leaves ample leeway for the member states. That will shift the discussion back to the national level and there will lead to the question as to how to make use of this leeway (cf. II, III, below) rather than to a debate about principles as in the past. It seems likely that criticism will confine itself to more technical questions (cf. IV, below).
- Co-determination in Germany : the impact on the market value of the firm (1996)
- Paper presented at the conference on "Employees and Corporate Governance", Columbia University Law School, New York, November 22, 1996