Company law and digitalisation in the context of European Integration

On 8 June 2022, the German Federal Chamber of Notaries and Prof. Dr. Jan Lieder hosted a conference on “Company law and digitalisation in the context of European Integration” in the city of Freiburg.

Students, notaries and other international and national guests from practice and academia had accepted the invitation. After a welcome reception, the first part of the event was dedicated to the consequences of digitalisation for the European integration and European company law.

As an introduction, the President of the German Federal Chamber of Notaries, Prof. Dr. Jens Bormann, explained the connection between the rule of law principle and European integration. He emphasised the importance of this principle especially in the age of digitalisation. To protect its digital sovereignty, the State should not leave important state functions to private actors alone.

The event’s co-organiser, Prof. Dr. Jan Lieder from the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg, described how company law has contributed to European integration. He placed the Company Law Package of 2019 in the context of fundamental freedoms and highlighted the fact that the European legislator had shown great consideration for national legal traditions, namely by involving the notary in the online formation procedure.

Dr. Susanne Knöfel, from the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, then gave an outlook on the future of European company law from the perspective of the European Commission. In particular, she presented the initiative “Upgrading Digital Company Law”, which the European Commission had launched at the beginning of the year.

In addition, the notaries Álvaro Lucini Mateo from Madrid and Prof. Dr. Corrado Malberti from Como spoke about legal certainty in the field of European company law and provided insights into notarial practice.

In the second part of the conference, Dr. Andreas Schwab, Member of the European Parliament, and Prof. Dr. Sir Christopher Clark from the University of Cambridge discussed the parallels between today’s digital transformation and the 19th century. The starting point of their dialogue was the Digital Markets Act, for which Dr. Schwab is rapporteur on behalf of the European Parliament, and the Digital Services Act, often referred to as the “Digital Constitution”. Sir Clark compared these fundamental new regulations for the digital space with the years from 1848 onwards, which are also referred to as the age of constitutionalisation. With reference to the current political situation, Sir Clark spoke of the beginning of a new era – while explaining the parallels with the 1848 Revolutions. Dr. Schwab agreed and pointed out that in view of the war in Ukraine, Europe is being mapped anew. In conclusion, both agreed that young people had good prospects on the European continent despite the current challenges.

You can find a picture gallery here.

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