Welcome / Blog Archive / Book Review / 2022-01-doc5 Twenty years EU determined cross-border insolvency law!

2022-01-doc5 Twenty years EU determined cross-border insolvency law!

The European Union aims to harmonize the laws of the Member States regarding insolvency and restructuring. It also intends to facilitate the functioning of insolvency proceedings across the Union. The first step the EU took was to provide for a system regulating cross-border insolvency. This year will celebrate the 20th birthday of EU regulated cross-border insolvency law. The original European Insolvency Regulation (EIR 2000, No. 1346/2000) came into force in 2002. The Regulation introduced a welcome framework for recognition of foreign insolvency proceedings, in an area which was nearly unregulated until then. It introduced the basis for international jurisdiction of a court to open insolvency proceedings (the famous term ‘centre of main interest’ (or: COMI)). The EIR 2000 has been applied in many, sometimes spectacular cases, such as Eurofood. In an aim to capture to core developments of these cases and at the same time introducing some new concepts, the Regulation has been renewed and amended by the Insolvency Regulation (Recast) (EIR 2015, No. 2015/848). The EIR 2015 came into force in 2017. This year this recast version is in its 5th year of existence. It is noticeable, the two Regulations compared, the volume of text has grown dramatically. Between the original version and the recast version, the text has grown with around 250%, from 33 recitals and 47 Articles, including 3 Annexes, to 89 recitals and 92 Articles, including 4 Annexes. The fourth Annex (Annex D) contains a correlation table of the Articles in the EIR 2000 and those in the EIR 2015, demonstrating that the EIR 2015 did not reflect a revolution, rather has to be regarded as an evolution.

Evidently, the EIR 2000 aroused much literature. For the ‘new’ EIR 2015, the first wave of commentaries, including discussion about some of its novelties (presumptions regarding international jurisdiction of a court, duties to cross-border coordinate insolvency proceedings also for courts, rules for insolvency proceedings of members of a group of companies, insolvency registers, data protection, to name a few) are the books of Reinhard Bork and Renato Mangano, European Cross-border Insolvency Law, Oxford University Press 2016, and Gabriel Moss, Ian F. Fletcher and Stuart Isaacs (eds.), The EU Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings, 3rd. ed. Oxford University Press 2016. See my reviews on https://bobwessels.nl/blog/2016-10-doc7-book-reviews-eir-recast/. The same first wave countains (in English) the book of Reinhard Bork and Kristin van Zwieten (eds.), Commentary on The European Insolvency Regulation, Oxford University Press 2016 (with some 12 authors; a 2nd edition is due any day now), and my own book International Insolvency Law Part II: European Insolvency Law, Wolters Kluwer 2017, 4th ed. (the 5th to be expected the second half of this year), see https://bobwessels.nl/blog/2021-02-doc3-my-book-on-international-insolvency-law/ Several other books followed, see https://bobwessels.nl/blog/2020-12-doc4-new-books-on-european-insolvency-regulation-recast-2015-848/.

A main characteristic of these books is that they contain voluminous article-by-article commentaries, sometimes augmented with a treatment of certain topics. Aren’t there more manageable, shorter introductions, especially for non-European readers? At the risk of overlooking someones’ publication, I refer to my own book, in its 4th edition published in 2018, at that time with co-author Ilya Kokorin, European Union Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings: An Introductory Analysis. It is published by the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). See https://bobwessels.nl/blog/2018-06-doc5-american-bankruptcy-institute-publishes-book-on-eu-insolvency-regulation-recast/. Readers of such an introductory book should have already some knowledge on insolvency law in general as well as regarding the European rules concerning insolvency and restructuring. Recently, the Dutch insolvency practitioner Van Galen, presented his introductory publication. In addition to a treatment per theme of the EIR 2015, he shortly introduces other EU instruments necessary to understand the impact of insolvency in a more broad sense. The treatment takes place with incorporation of references to other literature and case law, sometimes taking own positions. The book contains some 130 pages text and 80 pages for EU legislative texts. The author wishes to present his publication “as a ‘one-night read’. It is for non-EU domiciled readers (Van Galen’s target audience) to assess whether he has succeeded in his intention. In addition to the EIR 2015, covered also are the Brussel I Regulation (for enforcing those judgments that are not covered by the EIR 2015), the Directives on employee pay guarantees, employees’ rights in the event of a transfer of an undertaking and the 2019 Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks. Non-EU readers will quickly gain essential knowledge about these themes of European insolvency law. Non-EU scholars may as well get a grip on the most important rules and issues of EU inspired insolvency law.

Robert van Galen, An Introduction to European Insolvency Law, Deventer: Wolters Kluwer 2021. ISBN 9789013164589.

Note: this book I received free of charge from the publisher with the request to announce it or to review it on my blog at www.bobwessels.nl.