The Council adopted a directive for the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies. New measures will require certain big EU companies to draw up, on a yearly basis, a statement relating to environmental, social and employee-related matters, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery matters. The statement will have to include a description of the policies, outcomes and the risks related to those matters. Where a company does not pursue policies in relation to these matters, it will have to explain why this is the case.
The new measures are aimed at strengthening the company's transparency and accountability, while limiting any undue administrative burden, and ensuring a level playing field across the EU. The Italian minister of economy and Finance Pier Carlo Padoan said: ''Firms, in particular large ones, play a role in the EU economy that goes far beyond the mere production of goods and services. With the approval of this directive, EU legislators have acknowledged this fact and reinforced the framework of corporate social responsibility. Higher transparency through disclosure of non-financial information will enhance the accountability of large firms towards European citizens. It will allow investors to reward socially responsible business conduct, thus promoting sustainable growth''.
For more information see Council of the European Union.