On April 3, 2020, the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands approved a proposal for urgent COVID19 legislation in the field of general meetings, such as members' meetings and shareholders' meetings. The advice of the Council of State of the Netherlands followed on Monday 6 April 2020, after which the bill was submitted to the House of Representatives of the Netherlands on 8 April 2020. In the meantime, the draft law has passed the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament and the emergency act entered into force on April 24, 2020.
On the basis of a draft bill to be submitted, it will become possible in various areas, where physical consultation and decision-making procedures are still required, to communicate temporarily by electronic means. The draft law will in any case concern the meetings of cooperatives, mutual insurance companies, private companies, listed companies, associations of owners and associations that must hold an annual general meeting.
The reason for urgent legislation is obvious. The corona virus makes physical gathering undesirable.
The board of legal persons will soon be able to decide to hold a general meeting that can only be followed via live stream (audio or video). The condition is that the members and shareholders can submit questions during that meeting or in advance, which will be answered no later than at the meeting itself. If a member or shareholder has not been able to participate optimally in such a meeting, the decisions taken are still legally valid. The board can also postpone the term for holding a general meeting and the term for drawing up the annual accounts.
The emergency law is intended to expire on 1 September 2020. Since it cannot be ruled out that the necessity for the temporary provisions will continue to exist even after this date, a possibility has been included to extend this period by two months each time.
We will of course provide further information. In the meantime, you can of course contact us and submit your question without obligation. It is not without reason that our motto is: "Your problem, our concern."
Marcel van den Ende will gladly help you further.
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