A major goal for the Spanish Presidency is to reach political agreement on the European private company, the Societas Privata Europaea (SPE). Spain must also deal with the thorny issue of the Community patent. Here, much depends on when the European Court of Justice delivers its opinion. Also on the agenda is monitoring national implementation of European legislation, notably the Services Directive (2006/123/EC) and the New Legislative Framework - the so-called goods package'.

The Swedish EU Presidency failed to reach agreement on the SPE statute. Its compromise continues to cause problems for several delegations. Spain will now have to solve two outstanding questions: the seat of an SPE and employee participation. To be adopted, the legislation will require unanimity in the Council. Establishing the SPE statute is one of the key measures of the Small Business Act (SBA), proposed by the Commission in June 2008. Responding to the particular needs of SMEs, the goal is to allow entrepreneurs to create an SPE under company law with the same conditions throughout the EU.

Spain will also have to push forward discussions on a European patent with two main features. The first is a unified patent litigation system with exclusive jurisdiction for civil litigation for patent infringements and validity of EU and European patents. The second is to start negotiations with the European Parliament since the Lisbon treaty makes the subject a matter for co-decision between MEPs and the...

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