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Some 30 years after the idea was first proposed, the creation of a European company has become a reality.
The corporate entity will be authorised to operate throughout the 15 EU countries under a single set of management and legal rules which will be binding throughout the EU. The European Commission believes the European company, (or 'SE' from its Latin name of Societas Europaea), will lead to "significant reductions in administrative and legal costs". A study ordered by EU heads of government put potential savings at up to euro30bn (£18.76bn) per year. EU Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said that by using an SE, companies would be able to "expand and restructure their cross-border operations without the costly and time-consuming red tape of having to set up a network of subsidiaries".