Press Conference, European Commission, Business
On 16 April, the European Commission will adopt a proposal for a directive enhancing the transparency of certain large companies on social and environmental matters. Companies concerned will need to disclose information on policies, risks and results as regards environmental matters, social and employee-related aspects, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery issues, and diversity on the boards of directors.
Current EU legislation, in particular, the Fourth Company Law Directive on annual accounts, addresses the disclosure of non-financial information in a way that companies may choose to make public certain information on environmental, social and other aspects of their activities. However, the requirements of the existing legislation have proved to be unclear and ineffective and applied in different ways in different Member States. Currently, fewer than 10% of the largest EU companies disclose such information regularly.
Yet it is well known that companies which are transparent deliver consistently higher economic performances over time, have lower financing costs, attract and retain talented employees, and ultimately are more successful. Investors and consumers also increasingly demand this kind of information.
Some Member States have introduced disclosure requirements that go beyond the Fourth Company Law Directive. This legislative proposal seeks to improve the situation EU-wide.
Commissioner Barnier will present the proposal at a press conference in Strasbourg at 15.00. An off-the-record technical briefing will take place in Brussels at 11.15.
Press release and MEMO will be available on the day.