In June the European Parliament Think Tank (EPRS) published a study ‘Tackling Environmental Crimes under EU Law: The Liability of Companies in the Context of Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions‘.
This study addresses the fate of environmental liability and environmental crime under mergers and acquisitions. It analyses whether environmental liability is passed on, either to a successor or to a parent company. Also the role of companies in the Environmental Crime Directive is analysed with specific attention to succession of companies. Particular attention is given to the concept of ecocide. The study concludes that in case of a merger or acquisition environmental obligations are passed on to the acquiring company. However, there is still the risk that corporations could organise their own insolvency. This can be remedied by imposing mandatory solvency guarantees. Criminal liability of an enterprise can in many legal systems also be transferred to the successor company.