Friday, 14 June 2019 12:49

At the Roots of Regulatory Competition in the EU: Cross-border Movement of Companies as a Way to Exercise a Genuine Economic Activity or just Law Shopping?

F. Costamagna, At the Roots of Regulatory Competition in the EU: Cross-border Movement of Companies as a Way to Exercise a Genuine Economic Activity or just Law Shopping?, in European Papers, 1, 2019, 185-205

ABSTRACT

The Article critically engages with the case law of the Court of Justice on the application of Treaty provisions on freedom of establishment to cross-border transfers of companies. In particular, it demonstrates that the Court has come to consider the possibility for companies to use freedom of establishment as a tool to choose the law applicable to them as an objective of the relevant Treaty provisions, rather than as an abuse. The recently adopted Polbud judgment (Court of Justice, judgment of 25 October 2017, case C-106/16, Polbud [GC]) represents a fitting example in this regard. Here the Court held that Treaty provisions on freedom of establishment apply even in cases where the converting company has no intention to pursue any economic activity in the host State. Moreover, it posited that trying to relocate in another Member State with the sole purpose of paying lower taxes does not constitute an abuse and, thus, does not justify the adoption of restrictive measures by the departure Member State. The Article critically engages with this line of cases, showing its impact on recent attempts to harmonize the rules on cross-border transfers of companies. In particular, the analysis focuses on the 2018 Commission Proposal for a Directive regarding cross-border conversions, demonstrating that it tends to prioritize the promotion of freedom of establishment over competing interest and values, such as the respect for the integrity of national tax systems or the protection of workers’ rights.

This article can be found at the following link: https://iris.unito.it/retrieve/handle/2318/1704480/513681/EP_eJ_2019_1_13_Articles_SS2_5_Francesco_Costamagna_0.pdf

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