Disclosure of non-financial information by certain large companies: European Parliament and Council reach agreement on Commission proposal to improve transparency
The European Parliament and the Council have reached agreement on an amendment to existing accounting legislation to improve the transparency of certain large companies on social, environmental and diversity matters. This agreement was endorsed today by Coreper. 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 boards of directors.
“Europe needs modern and useful rules on transparency of non-financial information by certain large companies. I am glad to see that the European Parliament and the Council agree and support the Commission as regards the objective of this proposal”, said Michel Barnier, Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services. “I want to thank the Members of the European Parliament, particularly its rapporteur, Raffaele Baldassarre, and the shadow-rapporteurs, as well as the Greek and Lithuanian Presidencies for their support. Companies, investors and society at large will benefit from increased transparency. This is important for Europe’s competitiveness and the creation of more jobs. The new rules will only apply to some large companies with more than 500 employees, as the costs for requiring small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to apply them could outweigh the benefits. While I am happy that the Commission has to report back on country-by-country reporting on tax matters by 2018, I am sorry that the spirit of the European Council conclusions will not be taken forward as quickly as I had hoped. I hope that the next Commission might see its way to accelerating this issue.”
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