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The German Supervisory Board on Its Way to Professionalism


laws of codetermination at all180. If there will be a change in the future, the model of codetermination by consensus will have the best chances to become the prospective German codetermination standard. In any event, that would be an important step in the right direction. With regard to safeguarding of labor interests, workers councils at the place of the production site are the most appropriate tool.181 By the same token, the disadvantages connected with the current regime of codetermination would be prevented. The interest groups inside the corporation, however, are free to establish further instruments of codetermination as they see fit.

H. Choosing Between One‐Tier and Two‐Tier Board System

Until now, German codetermination hampers the further development of the current corporate governance system towards an opportunity of enterprises to choose between a one‐tier and a two‐tier board system. Modern research shows that both systems may function well under certain circumstances, but also that both models have strengths and weaknesses, which are inherent to each system.182 Besides that, there is on the one hand no doubt about the fact that both systems converge, on the other hand the tendency to converge is influenced by the historical, societal and cultural environment of each system (path dependence). In order to make use of one board system due to its particular advantages, enterprises should have the option between those systems.

The corporate laws of France183 and Italy184 already enable enterprises to choose between a one‐tier and a two‐tier system. Evidence regarding the French option model shows that most corporations have implemented a one‐tier board system. In particular, small and

180 Jan Lieder & René Kliebisch, Nichts Neues im Internationalen Gesellschaftsrecht: Anwendbarkeit der Sitztheorie auf Gesellschaften aus Drittstaaten?, 64 BB 338, 342‐343 (2009); Cornelius Götze, Thomas Winzer & Christian Arnold, Unternehmerische Mitbestimmung – Gestaltungsoptionen und Vermeidungsstrategien, 30 ZIP 245, 248 (2009); Peter Mankowski, Entwicklungen im Internationalen Privat‐ und Prozessrecht 2003/2004 (Teil 1), 50 RECHT DER INTERNATIONALEN WIRTSCHAFT (RIW) 481, 483 (2004); Daniel Zimmer, Nach “Inspire Art“: Grenzenlose Gestaltungsfreiheit für deutsche Unternehmen?, 56 NJW 3585, 3589‐3590 (2003); Eberhard Schwark, Globalisierung, Europarecht und Unternehmensmitbestimmung im Konflikt, 49 AG 173, 178 (2004).

181 Patrick C. Leyens, German Company Law: Recent Developments and Future Challenges, 6 GLJ 1407, 1413 (2005).

182 See already, Vagts (note 2), 165‐171; see furthermore Hopt & Leyens (note 1), 139‐156; Brändle & Noll (note 1), 1352‐1360; Carsten Jungmann, The Effectiveness of Corporate Governance in One‐Tier and Two‐Tier Board Systems, 3 EUROPEAN COMPANY AND FINANCIAL LAW REVIEW (ECFR) 426, 448‐462 (2006); LIEDER (note 2), 636‐640.

183 Christoph Teichmann, Corporate Governance in Europa, 30 ZGR 645, 663‐664 (2001); Hopt & Leyens (note 1), 156‐158.

184 Federico Ghezzi & Corrado Malberti, The Two‐Tier Model and the One‐Tier Model of Corporate Governance in the Italian Reform of Corporate Law, 5 ECFR 1 (2008); Hopt & Leyens (note 1), 158‐160.

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