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The European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG), a new – and rather unknown – legal form for a company has been conceived after the example of the French company form called G.i.e. (groupement d´intérêt économique). Well known examples of G.i.e. in France are or were the aircraft producer Airbus Industries in Toulouse, the space company Arianéspace and the credit card organisation „Carte bleue“. G.i.e. are a common legal instrument in France with more than 10.000 foundations.
Long before the institution of a European Single Market, both the European Commission in Brussels and the European Parliament realised the need of a specific legal instrument to help transnational and interprofessional co-operation between economic operators, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). The first proposals dealing with this subject came from the European Parliament at the beginning of the 70s, but an EU-wide agreement was reached only in the middle of the 80s, in the framework of the then beginning EU Single Market legislation.
Legal basis for the EEIG is the EC Regulation No. 2137/85, which has been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities L 199, 31st July, 1985. The implementation of some provisions was deferred to the EU member states; each state passed implementation laws which rule certain matters relating to groupings and set up the necessary rules for the registration of groupings. For instance, the German legislation adopted the EWIV-Ausführungsgesetz (EEIG Implementation Law) from 14th April, 1988, which has been published on 22nd April, 1988 in the Bundesgesetzblatt I (German Official Journal). According to the German implementation law groupings could be registered in Germany after the 1st July, 1989.
EEIG thus are harmonised as they refer to one single law, the EC Regulation, which is equal for all EU member countries (and valid as well in the European Free Trade Agreement [EFTA] member states of the European Economic Area [EEA] of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). Less harmonised is the name: every EU language has its own expression for an European Economic Interest Grouping and its abbreviation EEIG; for example in:
French Groupement européen d’intérêt économique G.e.i.e.
German Europäische wirtschaftliche Interessenvereinigung EWIV
Italian Gruppo europeo di interesse economico G.e.i.e.
Dutch Europees economisch samenwerkingverband EESV
Spanish Agrupacion europeo de intéres económico AEIE, etc.

* * * * Der Rat hat folgende Verordnung erlassen:  ( P R Ä A M B E L ) * * * *

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