01 Dec 2016

Harmonising Insolvency Laws in the Euro Area

Rationale, stocktaking and challenges

Diego Valiante

Download Publication


There are four distinct areas where harmonising national insolvency frameworks could improve the functioning of the single market and the stability of the euro area. Early restructuring of businesses, bank resolution, cross-border insolvency and management of non-performing loans rely on common features of local insolvency frameworks, which can affect their legal certainty and operation. To promote a more entrepreneurial spirit, a pan-European framework for the early restructuring of businesses could offer a true second chance for entrepreneurs. To benefit from a capital markets union, insolvency frameworks would also need to remove sources of cost unpredictability in cross-border insolvency procedures, which are often hidden in national insolvency laws or are not sufficiently dealt with in the current EU framework. Moreover, measures to harmonise insolvency laws could have positive impacts on the banking union, and particularly those harmonising the hierarchies of claims could strengthen the functioning of the resolution mechanism. The diffusion of best practices in credit recovery procedures could help to improve the management of non-performing loans by fostering liquidity in secondary markets. In addition, this report contributes to defining areas for further action, such as the opening and governance of proceedings and reliefs.

At the time of finalising this report, Diego Valiante was Research Fellow and Head of Financial Markets and Institutions at CEPS. This material was originally published in a paper provided at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament and commissioned by the Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the Union and supervised by its Economic Governance Support Unit (EGOV).

Series: CEPS Special Report No. 153     No of pp: 40