European Commission Action Plan on Company Law and Corporate Governance
DG Markt, European Commission, Brussels
Thierry Stoll Room, 2, Rue de Spa, 1000 Brussels
Wednesday 23 January 2013

An academic conference to discuss the European Commission's Action Plan on Company Law and Corporate Governance which was published on 12 December 2012 and associated policy proposals. Attendance is by invitation only.

Introduction | Programme | Report of proceedings | List of participants | Background papers

At the inaugural conference of the Europe Asia Corporate Governance Dialogue which was held in Tokyo in July, Eric Ducoulombier, Head of Corporate Governance, Social Responsibility at the European Commission's Internal Market and Services Directorate, announced that the Commission would publish an Action Plan on Company Law and Corporate Governance in late 2012.

On 12 December 2012, the European Commission published the Action Plan which outlined the initiatives that the Commission intends to take in order to modernise the company law and corporate governance framework. It identified three main lines of action:
Enhancing transparency – companies need to provide better information about their corporate governance to their investors and society at large. At the same time companies should be allowed to know who their shareholders are and institutional investors should be more transparent about their voting policies so that a more fruitful dialogue on corporate governance matters can take place.
Engaging shareholders – shareholders should be encouraged to engage more in corporate governance. They should be offered more possibilities to oversee remuneration policy and related party transactions, and shareholder cooperation to this end should be made easier. In addition, a limited number of obligations will need to be imposed on institutional investors, asset managers and proxy advisors to bring about effective engagement.
Supporting companies’ growth and their competitiveness – there is a need to simplify cross-border operations of European businesses, particularly in the case of small and medium-sized companies.

This Action Plan follows a period of consultation undertaken by the Commission after its publication of two Green Papers, the first in June 2010 on the Corporate Governance of Financial Institutions and the second in April 2011 on Corporate Governance of all European corporations.

In September 2011, the ECGI organised an academic conference to identify the corporate governance research agenda of relevance to issues raised in these two Green Papers which addressed a common set of issues - shareholders, boards of directors, and gatekeepers (regulators, auditors, credit rating agencies, codes etc). A full report of the conference to be found on this website recounted the thoughts and ideas expressed by the participants on each of these topics. Those attending the meeting were ECGI Research and Board Members, representatives of European Commission DG Internal Market and Services, the London Business School Centre for Corporate Governance, and CEPR-affiliated researchers.

With the publication of the Action Plan, the ECGI with the support of the European Commission and with sponsorship from the London Business School's Centre for Corporate Governance held a further academic conference on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 to discuss the implications of the Plan. Attendance was by invitation only.

Scientific Committee

Professor Marco Becht (Chair)
Professor of Finance and Economics
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and ECGI

Professor Julian Franks
Professor of Finance
London Business School
Professor Colin Mayer
Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies
Said Business School, University of Oxford and ECGI

Click Background Papers in the menu to download the Action Plan, the two European Commission Corporate Governance Green Papers and other relevant documents.

For any enquiries and further information, please contact the ECGI webmaster at the ECGI.

The ECGI is grateful to the London Business School’s Centre for Corporate Governance for the sponsorship of this meeting
and for the support of the European Commission