11th April 2014

Competitiveness: EC proposes changes in corporate governance

On 9 April, the European Commission has come up with a package of measures that should help ensure the long-term financing of the EU economy (this issue has been informed about here). The most important part of the package is a revision of the Shareholders Rights Directive. According to Michel Barnier, Commissioner fot the Internal Market, present involvement of shareholders in corporate governance is insufficient and leads to short-term thinking that damages the EU economy in terms of its sustainability. According to the proposal, all the 10 000 or so listed European companies would be obliged to have their management pay policy bindingly approved by the shareholders, the so-called “say on pay” principle. In such a vote by the shareholders, the management will also have to explain, how the remuneration policy would help long-term prosperity of the company and how the salaries were calculated in comparison with an average employee salary. Furthermore, institutional investors, asset managements and proxy agents will be required to be much more transparent in their dealings. In this manner, long-term interests of the company should be taken into account more by the shareholders.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic