what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Annual accounts of certain types of companies as regards micro-entities

European regulations are often drafted with big transnational companies in mind, these being the entities most easily able to abuse their market share through harmful practices.

As a result, many small businesses find themselves saddled with a disproportionate administrative burden.

In December 2008, Parliament requested the Commission to relieve small businesses of the obligation of drawing up annual accounts. This meant amending the 4th Company Law Directive.

The Commission's response was to stipulate a set of optional conditions under which Member States may exempt small businesses from the obligation to draw up annual accounts.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe that exempting small businesses from obligatory annual accounts is not the most useful way of easing the administrative burden of small companies.

However, since the Commission was unwilling to proceed with a full revision of the 4th Company Law Directive, we view such an exemption as a step in the right direction.

Specifically, the Commission's proposed change provides for an exemption for companies fulfilling at least two of the following three conditions: having a balance sheet total of under €500,000, a net turnover under €1,000,000 and fewer than 10 employees on average during the financial year.

We believe that such a measure will not only exempt those companies for which the production of annual accounts represents a disproportionate expense.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

The Greens succeeded in reiterating our demand for a general review of the 4th Company Law Directive in the near future.

European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier announced that such a review would begin in 2012.


Which points did the Greens lose?
Despite securing majority support in Parliament, the Greens were unable to prompt the Commission to bring forward its review of the 4th Company Law Directive.

Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure


Lead MEP:Klaus-Heiner Lehne (EPP)

Green MEP responsible:Eva Lichtenberger


Staff contact:Francesca Beltrame (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?