New forum to monitor corporate governance practices across EU

The Internal Market Commissioner has announced
the creation of a European Forum comprising 15 corporate
governance experts. Its role is to foster the
exchange of best practice among Member States.

Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein has
announced the establishment of an expert group
whose task is to monitor corporate governance
practices in the EU Member States with a view to bringing
them closer together. The more national corporate
governance codes converge towards best practice, the
easier it will be to restore confidence in capital
markets in the wake of the scandals that have shaken
trust in some European companies,” Mr Bolkestein
said at a European conference on corporate
governance on 18 October.

The group is made up of 15 senior corporate
governance experts, including issuers, investors,
academics, regulators and auditors, coming from 12
different Member States. It will meet two to three
times a year and submit a yearly report to the
Commission throughout its three-year mandate.

Recent efforts made by the Commission to increase the
transparency of corporate governance practices in the EU
include non-binding recommendations, such as those
adopted by the Commission on 6 October
on directors’ pay and the role of
non-executive directors. Although the
Commission requests that the Member States inform it
about steps taken to promote such measures, the
corporate governance forum could play a further role
in assisting communication across the EU about best
practices and providing the Commission with feedback
about national efforts taken in different areas.

The creation of the corporate governance forum was one
of the short-term priorities identified by the Action
Plan on ‘Modernising Company Law and Enhancing
Corporate Governance in the European Union A Plan to move
forward’, adopted by the Commission in May 2003.

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