The idea of the European Company (Societas Europaea, SE) is almost as old as the European Community. In 1959 the idea was initially formulated by Pieter Sanders and by Thibièrge. In fact, however, the idea is much older. As early as 1926 this notion was discussed during the 34th German Conference of Lawyers (Deutscher Juristentag) in Cologne. Altogether there were four drafts of regulations for a European Company in the years 1966, 1972/1974, and 1988/1991. In December 2000, after lengthy negotiations, the European Council approved the European Company, and the draft legislation passed the European Parliament in October 2001. While the first draft contained more than 400 paragraphs, the last one regulates the SE by a Regulation, consisting of only 70 articles and a supplementing directive. By 2004, the national legislators have to implement the Directive, which concerns the employees' co-determination, and, in addition, have to enact complementary and amplifying acts.