Shareholders’ duties in case of State ownership
SourceNordic & European Company Law Working Paper
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This chapter seeks to examine shareholders’ duties in case of State ownership and more specifically, in case of privatized companies, where the State remains a shareholder. State ownership in privatized companies raises several questions, but this chapter will examine whether States have any particular duties as shareholders. The focus of the contribution is on the EU dimension of the topic, and the chapter will discuss shareholders’ duties in privatized companies at EU level, in the context of the golden shares’ case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The main argument is that the State participating in the capital of a privatized company has a general duty to protect the public interest. This general duty to protect public interest will be scrutinized in the light of the golden shares’ case law. Furthermore, the impact of other provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU(TFEU) will be discussed.