§ Mr. David Steel
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if any plans exist to harmonise company law in European Community countries; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Eyre
The European Commission has an extensive programme of measures to harmonise company and securities law. Six such directives have been adopted by the Council of Ministers of which three have already been implemented in this country: the first directive by the European Communities Act 1972, the second directive on the formation and capital of companies by the Companies Act 1980, the fourth directive on company accounts by the Companies Act 1981. I expect shortly to be bringing forward proposals for the implementation of the third directive on share exchange mergers and for three directives relating to the listing of companies on the Stock264W Exchange. My Department consults an extensive range of interested parties about the negotiation and implementation of these instruments and publishes every six months a booklet describing their progress. I am sending the right hon. Gentleman a copy of the latest issue and have placed a copy in the Library.