How has the “EU Restructuring Directive” of 2019 been transposed into national law in eight EU countries and how it compares to UK national law? This was the topic of the first EIB capstone project carried out with students from the International and European Law programme at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in 2022-2023.

Through the EU Directive on Restructuring and Insolvency of 20 June 2019 (EUR 2019/1023), the EU has imposed an obligation on its Member States to offer a more attractive and flexible restructuring scheme in their respective local law so as to reach a minimal and harmonized preventive restructuring framework within the European Union.

Mentored by the EIB legal department, students analysed the Directive and compared its transposition into national laws in eight countries (Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain) as well as the analysis of the restructuring plan procedure enacted under the 2020 Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act in the United Kingdom.

Some countries such as Greece, Italy, Germany, and France took a very direct approach in implementing the Directive’s early warning structures while others like Finland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and the UK did not touch upon them. Member States also took different approaches regarding access to the restructuring procedure. In most of the jurisdictions, the debtor remains in control of its assets during restructuring procedures.

The research, carried out predominantly from a legal perspective, but also taking into account economic context, focused on understanding pre-insolvency and insolvency proceedings available in the nine jurisdictions, and what implementation discrepancies could be found in those countries’ national laws.

The outcome of their work was reflected in an executive summary that compares the national pre-insolvency and insolvency proceedings existing in those countries together with a comparative table facilitating its overview and comparison.

A capstone is a students’ consultancy project: a team of Masters’ students works under the supervision of the EIB Group staff who has proposed the topic. Projects have a resolutely operational approach and enable students to undertake a real-life consulting project on topics relevant to the EIB Group. More than 30 capstones with six EU universities have already been organised.