2013 Comments on proposal to oblige companies to disclose non-financial Information in their annual reporting

The Commission’s new proposal to review the accounting Directives (78/660/EEC & 83/349/EEC) regarding disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies and groups is counterproductive. The initial definition and the essence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is its voluntary nature. Therefore, an obligation for disclosure of non- financial information is in contrast to the spirit of CSR.

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Ceemet key messages

The directive proposal obliges companies “whose average number of employees exceeds 500 and exceeds either a balance sheet total of 20 million euros or a net turnover of 40 million euros to disclose a statement in their Annual Report including information relating to at least environmental, social and employee-related matters, respect of human rights, anti-corruption and bribery aspects.

Within these areas, the statement will include (i) a description of its policies, (ii) results and (iii) risk-related aspects”. If a company does not pursue policies in relation to one or more of these matters, “it shall provide an explanation for not doing so”.

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