Issue 31 | March 2014

Disclosure of non-financial information by certain large companies: European Parliament and Council reach agreement on Commission proposal to improve transparency

The European Parliament and the Council have reached agreement on an amendment to existing accounting legislation to improve the transparency of certain large companies on social, environmental and diversity matters. This agreement was endorsed by Member States last week Companies concerned will need to disclose information on policies, risks and results as regards environmental matters, social and employee-related aspects, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery issues, and diversity on boards of directors.

"Europe needs modern and useful rules on transparency of non-financial information by certain large companies. I am glad to see that the European Parliament and the Council agree and support the Commission on this proposal."

Latest news »« TOP
Commissioner Barnier welcomes the European Parliament vote on:
Conference "Modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive: safe mobility"

This conference held on 12 February in Brussels, provided participants with the opportunity to discuss some of the changes introduced by the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive, such as the European Professional Card, language requirements for migrating professionals, the proactive alert mechanism regarding health professionals and those in contact with children etc. This high-level event followed the entry-into-force of the new legislation on 17 January 2014 and provided a solid basis for the continued work with stakeholders and Member States to ensure the Directive is implemented in a timely way. The Conference was very well attended by, among others, representatives from the European Parliament, national competent authorities, and professional organisations, and offered the possibility for all EU citizens to voice their views and interact via social media.

European Parliament and Council back Commission proposal for strengthened European rules on UCITS

On 25 February, the European Parliament and the Council backed the European Commission’s proposal to strengthen the rules for Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS). These new rules will significantly increase the level of protection enjoyed by UCITS investors. They are a key step towards restoring investor confidence in the wake of the financial crisis. "This agreement (...) will ensure that the abuses seen at the time of the Madoff scandal cannot be repeated. We must always remember that the UCITS framework is widely viewed as a gold standard for fund regulation globally, and it is important to maintain this."

  Statement by Commissioner Barnier
Statement by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the European Commission on progress relating to the implementation of the 2013 Path Forward Statement

Mark Wetjen, acting Chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and European Commissioner Michel Barnier announced on 12 February that the CFTC and the European Commission have made significant progress towards harmonising a regulatory framework for CFTC-regulated swap execution facilities (SEFs) and EU-regulated multilateral trading facilities (MTFs), as contemplated under the Path Forward statement issued in July 2013. "This is an important further step in implementing a joined up, consistent global approach to ensure that financial markets work for the benefit of the real economy", said Commissioner Barnier.

  More information

Copyright: Representatives of the European art market commit to improving how the author resale right is managed

On 17 February, representatives of collecting management organisations, authors and art market professionals (art dealers, galleries, auctioneers) signed up to "Key Principles and Recommendations on the management of the Author Resale Right", under the auspices of Commissioner Barnier.

  More information
Readership survey

Unless you have already done so following the last edition of Single Market Monthly, please take 5 minutes to fill in our readership survey on the Single Market News (our quarterly magazine) and/or the Single Market Monthly (our monthly electronic newsletter). Thank you for your participation.

  Readership survey
Visits and Missions »« TOP
Commissioner Barnier, Citizens’ Dialogue in Paris-La Plaine St Denis – 27 February 2014

On 27 February 2014, Commissioner Barnier took part in a Citizen's dialogue in Paris with Thierry Repentin, French minister for European affairs. This dialogue is one of a series the Commission is holding in cities across EU country, giving European citizens an opportunity to speak directly to EU politicians about their rights, the kind of Europe they want to live in, and their expectations for the European Union. "There must be a broad debate all over Europe. A debate of truly European dimension," Commisioner Barnier said. "We cannot continue trying to solve European problems just with national solutions. This debate has to take place in our societies and among our citizens."

Commissioner Barnier, Athens – 4 February 2014

After the plenary session of the Parliament in Strasbourg, Commissioner Barnier left for Athens for the "Dare Democracy" conference organized by the Nouvel Observateur. He took part in the evening panel which tried to address the following question: "How to get people to foster a desire for Europe?" Commissioner Barnier called for a less technical and a more political Europe mobilised around concrete subjects which would make a real difference to Europeans, like for example, a more industrialised Europe for more jobs and better social cohesion.

Speeches »« TOP
Commissioner Barnier, Brussels –
20 February 2014

At the 12th Annual European Financial Services Conference, Commissioner Barnier stressed the importance of continuing work in three areas: Firstly, to finish the work on stabilising the European financial sector, secondly, consolidating the euro zone and thirdly on this solid basis, to take ambitious measures to reinforce competition and growth in the European Union.

  Read the speech
At the Global Forum in Bilbao, Spain on
3 March 2014, Commissioner Barnier said:

"Europe is at a turning point. Both politically and economically. […] For the first time in years, we do not have our backs against the wall. So now is the right time to move from a reactive to proactive approach." Speech by Michel Barnier.

  Read the speech

Commissioner Barnier, Brussels –
4 March 2014

At a conference entitled: "What Agenda for the European defense industry", Commissioner Barnier stated: "If we want to play an active role in tomorrow’s world with a true strategic autonomy, we must move forward together on defense."

  Read the speech
News from the Parliament »« TOP
Strasbourg plenary week (February 2 – 6 2014)


  • Debate on Resolution of credit institutions and certain investment firms in the framework of a Single Resolution Mechanism and a Single Bank Resolution Fund
  • Debate on Criminal sanctions for insider dealing and market manipulation
  • Debate on Copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses
  • Debate on Integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce

See also:
  Website: IMCO (Internal Market Committee)
  Website ECON (Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee)

For your diary »Latest publications »Question of the Month »
  10 March 2014
Public Hearing on liquidity coverage requirement and leverage ratio

  19 March 2014
Conference on the new EU rules on procurement and concessions

Single Market News
Nº67 (2013 – III)

A new professional qualifications regime for Europe

Intellectual Property Rights - Europe’s asset, Europe’s priority

Disclosure of non-financial information by certain large companies – is there a need to increase transparency?


Results from the last month:
Do you agree that structural reform of the EU banking sector is necessary?
YES - 26.3%
NO - 73.7%

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