National News, 25 April 2023
33rd European Notaries’ Days, Salzburg, 20-21 April 2023
Under the theme “Notaries going digital – Current practices and future visions for Europe”, more than 150 participants met in Salzburg on 20-21 April for the 33rd European Notaries Days organised by the Austrian Chamber of Notaries. The speakers – academics, notaries and representatives of European and Austrian institutions – discussed the current changes and challenges that digitalisation brings.
The European Commission’s recent legislative proposal to upgrade the digitalisation of company law was high on the agenda. A panel discussion was organised on this topic with the participation of Ralf Sauer, Deputy Head of Unit “Company Law” of the European Commission.
Alongside personalities such as Alma Zadić, Austrian Federal Minister of Justice, and Michael Umfahrer, President of the Austrian Chamber of Notaries, Peter Stelmaszczyk, President of the CNUE, spoke at the opening of the conference. He particularly addressed the subject of company law.
Peter Stelmaszczyk highlighted the positive aspects of the legislative proposal: more digitalisation, less formalities thanks to the “once only” principle, better interconnection of registers and facilitation of cross-border transactions and procedures, better contribution to the fight against illegal activities and money laundering through the introduction of a mandatory ex-ante control in company law.
He pointed out that the European Commission places notarial control on an equal footing with control by an administrative authority and by the courts. Against this background, he emphasised the gatekeeper role of notaries in company law and their essential contribution to legal certainty and to reliable public registers – the prerequisite for the ease and security of doing business and a significant economic advantage over common law systems. Against that background, Peter Stelmaszczyk cautioned that, where business registers have not yet reached a functionally equivalent level of reliability, safeguards should be discussed in connection with the proposed mutual recognition obligation for register data.
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