Plessers: the ECJ on a Killing Spree in the Belgian Insolvency Landscape?

Setting the Boundaries of Articles 3–5 of Council Directive 2001/23/EC in the Aftermath of Smallsteps

Yesterday, Advocate General (AG) Szpunar delivered his opinion in Plessers (C-509/17), a case before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that concerns the protection of employees in one of the Belgian insolvency proceedings, i.e. the judicial reorganisation by transfer under judicial supervision/gerechtelijke reorganisatie door overdracht onder gerechtelijk gezag (hereinafter referred to as ‘GROG’). If the ECJ follows the interpretation by AG Szpunar of Articles 3-5 of Council Directive 2001/23/EC (hereinafter the ‘Directive’), the referring court would have almost no other option than to rule that Article 61(3) WCO (now: Article XX.86, §3 WER) violates the Directive.

 

Background

On 23 April 2012, NV Echo entered into a judicial reorganisation by way of collective agreement. However, a collective agreement could not be reached, and on 19 February 2013, the judicial reorganisation proceeding was transformed into a GROG. On 22 April 2013, NV Prefaco took over the business of NV Echo together with two-thirds of the total employees of the transferor.

Plessers, who was one of the dismissed employees, argued (among other things) that Article 61(3) WCO violates the Directive. Continue reading “Plessers: the ECJ on a Killing Spree in the Belgian Insolvency Landscape?”