«EN EN EUROPEAN COMMISSION Brussels, 5.4.2011 COM(2011) 164 final GREEN PAPER The EU corporate governance framework EN EN GREEN PAPER The EU corporate ...»
Member States, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and other interested parties are invited to submit their views on the suggestions set out in this Green Paper. Contributions should be sent to the following address to reach the Commission by 22 July 2011 at the latest: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the follow-up to this Green Paper and on the basis of the responses received, the Commission will take a decision on the next steps. Any future legislative or non-legislative proposal will be accompanied by an extensive impact assessment taking into account the need to avoid disproportionate administrative burden for companies.
Contributions will be published on the internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this Green Paper for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.
General questions (1) Should EU corporate governance measures take into account the size of listed companies? How? Should a differentiated and proportionate regime for small and medium-sized listed companies be established? If so, are there any appropriate definitions or thresholds? If so, please suggest ways of adapting them for SMEs where appropriate when answering the questions below.
(2) Should any corporate governance measures be taken at EU level for unlisted companies? Should the EU focus on promoting development and application of voluntary codes for non-listed companies?
Boards of directors (3) Should the EU seek to ensure that the functions and duties of the chairperson of the board of directors and the chief executive officer are clearly divided?
(4) Should recruitment policies be more specific about the profile of directors, including the chairman, to ensure that they have the right skills and that the board is suitably diverse? If so, how could that be best achieved and at what level of governance, i.e. at national, EU or international level?
(5) Should listed companies be required to disclose whether they have a diversity policy and, if so, describe its objectives and main content and regularly report on progress?
(7) Do you believe there should be a measure at EU level limiting the number of mandates a non-executive director may hold? If so, how should it be formulated?
(8) Should listed companies be encouraged to conduct an external evaluation regularly (e.g. every three years)? If so, how could this be done?
(9) Should disclosure of remuneration policy, the annual remuneration report (a report on how the remuneration policy was implemented in the past year) and individual remuneration of executive and non-executive directors be mandatory?
(10) Should it be mandatory to put the remuneration policy and the remuneration report to a vote by shareholders?
(11) Do you agree that the board should approve and take responsibility for the company’s ‘risk appetite’ and report it meaningfully to shareholders? Should these disclosure arrangements also include relevant key societal risks?
(12) Do you agree that the board should ensure that the company’s risk management arrangements are effective and commensurate with the company’s risk profile?
(13) Please point to any existing EU legal rules which, in your view, may contribute to inappropriate short-termism among investors and suggest how these rules could be changed to prevent such behaviour.
(14) Are there measures to be taken, and if so, which ones, as regards the incentive structures for and performance evaluation of asset managers managing long-term institutional investors’ portfolios?
(15) Should EU law promote more effective monitoring of asset managers by institutional investors with regard to strategies, costs, trading and the extent to which asset managers engage with the investee companies? If so, how?
(16) Should EU rules require a certain independence of the asset managers’ governing body, for example from its parent company, or are other (legislative) measures needed to enhance disclosure and management of conflicts of interest?
(17) What would be the best way for the EU to facilitate shareholder cooperation?
(18) Should EU law require proxy advisors to be more transparent, e.g. about their analytical methods, conflicts of interest and their policy for managing them and/or whether they apply a code of conduct? If so, how can this best be achieved?
(19) Do you believe that other (legislative) measures are necessary, e.g. restrictions on the ability of proxy advisors to provide consulting services to investee companies?
(20) Do you see a need for a technical and/or legal European mechanism to help issuers identify their shareholders in order to facilitate dialogue on corporate governance issues? If so, do you believe this would also benefit cooperation between investors?
Please provide details (e.g. objective(s) pursued, preferred instrument, frequency, level of detail and cost allocation).
(21) Do you think that minority shareholders need additional rights to represent their interests effectively in companies with controlling or dominant shareholders?
(22) Do you think that minority shareholders need more protection against related party transactions? If so, what measures could be taken?
(23) Are there measures to be taken, and is so, which ones, to promote at EU level employee share ownership?
Monitoring and implementation of Corporate Governance Codes (24) Do you agree that companies departing from the recommendations of corporate governance codes should be required to provide detailed explanations for such departures and describe the alternative solutions adopted?
(25) Do you agree that monitoring bodies should be authorised to check the informative quality of the explanations in the corporate governance statements and require companies to complete the explanations where necessary? If yes, what exactly should be their role?
EN EN Annex 2: List of EU measures in the field of corporate governance – Directive 2006/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 amending Council Directives 78/660/EEC on the annual accounts of certain types of companies, 83/349/EEC on consolidated accounts, 86/635/EEC on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of banks and other financial institutions and 91/674/EEC on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of insurance undertakings (OJ L 224, 16.8.2006, p. 1–7).
– Directive 2004/109/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 on the harmonisation of transparency requirements in relation to information about issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market and amending Directive 2001/34/EC (OJ L 390, 31.12.2004, p. 38–57).
– Directive 2007/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the exercise of certain rights of shareholders in listed companies (OJ L 184, 14.7.2007, p.
– Directive 2004/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on takeover bids (OJ L 142, 30.4.2004, p. 12–23).
– Commission Recommendation 2005/162/EC of 15 February 2005 on the role of nonexecutive or supervisory directors of listed companies and on the committees of the (supervisory) board (OJ L 52, 25.2.2005, p. 51–63).
– Commission Recommendation 2004/913/EC of 14 December 2004 fostering an appropriate regime for the remuneration of directors of listed companies (OJ L 385, 29.12.2004, p. 55–59).
– Commission Recommendation 2009/385/EC of 30 April 2009 complementing Recommendations 2004/913/EC and 2005/162/EC as regards the regime for the remuneration of directors of listed companies (OJ L 120, 15.5.2009, p. 28–31).