POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Societas Europaea

Societas Europaea is also known as a European joint-stock company or SE for short. The legal form of SE was developed due to the EU’s effort to harmonize corporate law. SEs are required to have their headquarters in a member state of the European Union.

Legally speaking, SE joint-stock companies capital is divided into shares. The minimum capital needed to create an SE is €120,000 Euros. 

Features of a Societas Europaea

  • SEs have a legal entity
  • A joint-stock company
  • The stock capital is divided into shares
  • Headquarters must be within the EU or European Economic Area
  • Shareholders convene at a general meeting to exercise their voting rights

Four options to found an SE

  • Merging two existing companies
  • Founding of a holding company
  • Founding a common subsidiary by several companies or existing SEs
  • Converting of national joint-stock company into an SE

SE Works Council

Depending on the organizational form, it may be possible to establish a SE work council. A work council represents the rights of employees throughout the entire company. Employees and employers jointly decide based on various guidelines how the work council is established, or how to convert an existing works council into an SE work council. The EWC Academy consults multinational companies in establishing an SE works council.  

See also: Works council, Staff council, Electronic voting, Regulatory colleges

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