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Commission Européenne

MEMO

Bruxelles, 9 avril 2013

Déclaration du Commissaire Michel Barnier saluant l'accord obtenu sur les exigences d'information visant l'industrie extractive et les exploitants de la forêt primaire et des obligations d'information financière simplifiées pour les PMEs.

Je félicite le parlement européen et en particulier les rapporteurs, Klaus-Heiner Lehne et Arlene McCarthy et le Conseil, en particulier les présidences irlandaise, chypriote et danoise d'être parvenus à cet accord important. L'accord sur les exigences d'information visant l'industrie extractive et forestière montre combien la législation européenne peut être un catalyseur du changement dans les pays en voie de développement. Les communautés locales des pays riches en ressources seront finalement mieux informées sur ce que leur gouvernement reçoit des multinationales pour exploiter les ressources des champs pétrolifères et gaziers, des minerais et des forêts. L'accord va ouvrir une ère nouvelle en termes de transparence pour une industrie qui a agi trop souvent dans le secret, et il va contribuer à lutter contre la fraude fiscale et la corruption ainsi qu'à créer un cadre où à la fois les entreprises et les gouvernements peuvent être amenés à rendre des comptes quant à l'usage des revenus issus des ressources naturelles.

L'accord de ce soir prévoit également de nouvelles obligations d'information financière plus simples pour la préparation des comptes. Cela va induire une réduction de la charge administrative pour les PMEs. Les PMEs constituent la colonne vertébrale de l'économie réelle et nous devons continuer de leur faciliter les choses afin qu'elles injectent dans nos économies le dynamisme dont elles ont tant besoin.

L'accord d'aujourd'hui est une étape importante dans la réalisation de nos objectifs visant des entreprises plus responsables. Il fait suite à des engagements pris dans le cadre de l'acte I pour le marché unique afin de mettre en place un modèle de développement durable et ouvert à tous. Cet accord sur les obligations d'information est également en ligne avec les engagements pris au niveau du G8 en mai 2011 sous la conduite du Président Barroso, la Commission avait été alors un fervent défenseur de l’Initiative pour la transparence dans les industries extractives (ITIE).

Background

On 25 October 2011 the Commission adopted a legislative proposal (see IP/11/1238 and MEMO/11/734) requiring the disclosure of payments to governments on a country and project basis by listed and large1 non-listed companies with activities in the extractive industry (oil, gas and mining) and loggers of primary forests (the so-called country by country reporting - CBCR). The European Commission proposal followed guidelines developed by the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) but once adopted by the European Parliament and Council these requirements will be put into European law, thereby making them binding. This puts the EU on a level playing field with the US which also adopted disclosure requirements in July 2010 (Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act).

The Commission has publicly expressed support for the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), and envisaged willingness to present legislation mandating disclosure requirements for extractive industry companies. A similar pledge was made in the concluding Declaration of the G8 Summit in Deauville of May 2011, where the G8 governments committed "to setting in place transparency laws and regulations or to promoting voluntary standards that require or encourage oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose the payments they make to governments.

This disclosure requirement has been incorporated in the proposals to revise the Accounting Directives (78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC) and the Transparency Directive (2004/109/EC). The existing Accounting Directive regulates the information provided in the financial statements of all limited liability companies which are registered in the European Economic Area (EEA). The same disclosure requirement has been incorporated in the proposal to revise the Transparency Directive in order to include all companies which are listed on EU regulated markets even if they are not registered in the EEA and incorporated in a third country. With today's agreement, negotiations on the Transparency Directive can now be concluded swiftly.

The new agreement establishes rules ensuring that these companies disclose payments to governments (e.g. taxes on profits, royalties, and licence fees) on a country and project basis. Reporting would also be carried out on a project basis, where payments have been attributed to specific projects. The text requires the Commission to review the possibility of extending the disclosure requirements to other sectors.

At the same time, the Commission proposed reducing the administrative burden for small companies. This key initiative is part of the Single Market Act (SMA) of 13 April 2011, in which the Commission set out twelve levers to re-launch the Single Market for 2012 for sustainable, smart and inclusive growth (see IP/11/469). Two of the key actions identified were the creation and development of small and micro enterprises, by introducing smart regulation and cutting red tape and the creation of an eco-system conducive to the development of social entrepreneurship. This Directive will create a safer harbour in which small companies will be protected against obligations to produce onerous information in their financial statements. Such protection will mainly be relevant to the notes and statements to be prepared. Simplification will vary between small companies depending on their size and on the jurisdiction in which they are located.

More information

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/accounting/other_en.htm

1 :

The revised Accounting Directives defines a large company as one which exceeds two of the three following criteria: Turnover €40 million; total assets €20 million and employees 250.


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