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Sustainable corporate governance is about putting society before shareholders


17 Dec 2020


Sustainable Dev.

Today, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament supported a call on the European Commission to come forward with rules that make sure companies put long-term business and societal interests ahead of the short-term profits of shareholders.  We regret that the conservatives in the European Parliament did not support the progressive-led vote on Sustainable corporate governance earlier today. 

Lara Wolters, S&D shadow on Sustainable corporate governance, said:

“Sustainable corporate governance is about putting the long-term interests of the company and the wider society ahead of short-term gains for shareholders. Today the European Parliament called on the Commission to come forward with better standards for non-financial reporting to improve transparency in corporate governance. We also call on the Commission to present a legislative proposal to strengthen directors’ duties to make the pursuit of long-term interests a legal requirement, as to acknowledge the vital role business play in society. It is really disappointing to see that the conservatives could not find it in themselves to join the call to put society before shareholders, but we hope in time they will come around to the fact that this is the only sustainable way forward.” 

Tiemo Wölken, S&D spokesperson for legal affairs, said:

“We worked hard so that Parliament takes a strong position on making sure the way companies are run is both sustainable and responsible. We want the EU to make Non-Financial Reporting from companies much more transparent and we want to have a clear global picture of how businesses are run with comparable and harmonised reporting methods. The upcoming legislative proposal on corporate governance will be particularly crucial for ensuring investors are able to carry out their responsibilities with regards to sustainable investments.”