The prospect of creating a genuine "European" company law was raised as early as 1959, just two years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community. Curiously, the initiative was taken by practitioners and scholars and not by the business community, which expressed little interest in such an innovation at that time. The first steps were taken by the French Notaries Public who, at their 57th Annual Congress, suggested that it might be desirable "to adopt, by means of an international convention, a comprehensive company law, probably restricted to societes anonymes (large, publicly held [French] corporations) as done previously in the field of international transportation." This suggestion almost immediately received the support of the Commission, which invited academics and professional organizations to comment on such an idea. A series of symposia and articles resulted from the proposal, but no further progress was made at that time.
Dominique Carreau and William L. Lee,
Towards a European Company Law,
Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus.