SE Companies

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Frequent questions (FAQ) on the ECDB


On the European Company (SE) Database - ECDB

Who is preparing the ECDB ?

The European Company (SE) Database or ECDB is a service provided by the European Trade Union Institute, an international non-profit association established under Belgian law. The ETUI is financially supported by the European Community. Since 2005, the ETUI has regularly issued information on registered SEs. The information is compiled by the ECDB team under the coordination of Anders Carlson and Aline Hoffmann with the support of the SEEurope research network.

Why does the ETUI collect informations on SEs ?

The SE legislation represents a milestone, not only in the field of EU Company Law, but also in the field of European industrial relations. The SE Directive contains provisions for a legally binding procedure of negotiations on employee information, consultation and participation (at board level).

Unfortunately, there is, as yet, no central registry of European Companies (SEs). For this reason, the information available is very limited, especially with regard to employee involvement. The ETUI is seeking to fill this important gap with its research on SEs. The ECDB aim to provide information on the use of the SE Statute and to monitor implementation of the SE Directive in the field of employee involvement.

What are the sources for the ECDB ?

In the absence of a central European registry, the main sources for the ECDB are the national registries, the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (TED), and further research of our own.

According to Art. 14 I of the SE Regulation, the information provided on TED is fairly limited and includes, for example, no information at all about employee involvement.

There can be a considerable delay between an SE's registration and its appearance on TED. Moreover, while all SEs registered should appear on TED, this is not always the case. The ECDB therefore contains a higher number of SEs than TED.

For these reasons, the ECDB Team researches additional information via national registries, (internet) enquiries and through the ETUI SEEurope network which consists of researchers in, basically, all EU member states. The specific sources are always indicated in the last column of each company Factsheet (field 'References').

How complete, reliable and up-to-date is the information ?

The ECDB database today represents the most extensive collection of information on SEs. It is widely used and referred to as the key resource on SE data. More than 2,500 users have registered to take advantage of its services.

The aim of the ETUI is to keep this information up-to-date and accurate. If errors are reported, they will be corrected as soon and as far as possible. However, the ETUI shall in no way be responsible for damage caused by any incorrect, non-updated or incomplete information communicated via its website.

For many SEs, it is very difficult to find out information which goes beyond the limited information in the registries or on TED, especially because many of them had (almost) no employees and/or business activities at the time of registration.

I know of an SE which is not in your list, how can that be ?

It may take some time before a registered SE appears in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (TED). Sometimes an SE might not even be published on TED. If we have not yet discovered the SE via a national registry or other channels we might not be aware of it. If the registration process is not yet finished you might find the company under 'Planned SEs'. If you don't find an SE you are aware of – please let us know! (Provide Feedback)

Where can I find explanations of the different SE categories and fields used ?

For more information, see the explanatory remarks in the ECDB or click here.

On registration and subscription

Is registration on the database free ?

Yes. Registering provides you with free access to the ECDB Key Information) and the Basic Search.

What do you do with the personal data you collect during the registration process ?

Your data are treated confidentially. Users' personal data are processed by the ETUI, for example in order to send confirmation of an email. These data are not intended to be communicated to third parties.

Why does the full use of the database require paid subscription ?

The ECDB is a not-for-profit service of the ETUI. The collection and compilation of data requires significant resources. For this reason a subscription is required for access to the advanced functions of the European Company (SE) Database or ECDB database.

What are the advantages of a full subscription ?

Subscription provides you with access to the extended search and sorting options of the ECDB (full information) for one 12-month period (900 euros). The 12-month subscription runs from the moment the payment is registered until 12 months later. It is not automatically renewed.

Subscribers receive a Newsletter (currently two times a year) containing key information on registered and/or planned SEs.

Am I eligible for a reduced subscription fee ?

A reduced annual subscription (200 euros) is available for users who use the ECDB for strictly non-commercial purposes. If you are interested in a reduced annual subscription, please register free of charge first, then fill in the application form under 'Subscribe'.

Is payment safe ?

Payment can be made directly via PayPal or by bank transfer.

PAYPAL: You can make a payment WITHOUT signing up for a PayPal account. After payment, the account is activated automatically. Credit card entry takes place on the PayPal secure server, rather than on the ETUI's server. This is a system that meets bank standards of data security with an encryption key length of 128-bits (the highest level commercially available). At no time does the ETUI receive or see a credit card number. To read more about PayPal, follow this link.

If you would prefer to pay by BANK TRANSFER, please contact us: Liselotte Borre (ETUI) 32(0)2 224 05 06, , in that case, the account will be upgraded on receipt of payment.

On the European Company (SE) and on worker participation

Where can I find more information ?

More information on the SE and other related issues of worker participation can be found on our website

You can find, for example, a set of topical Frequently Asked Questions in English, German and French here.

If your question is not answered here, contact us via the Feedback option.