EU: MEPs back reporting requirements for large companies
Date: 18 Dec 2013
MEPs on the Legal Affairs Committee at the European Parliament have voted in favour of a draft measure that would oblige companies to disclose information on their environmental and social impacts. The vote also called upon the European Commission to consider requiring country-by-country reports on profits, taxes and subsidies.
The proposed rules would require companies with more than 500 employees to include a non-financial statement in their management reports. This would include both listed and private companies.
With the ambition that such reporting should be "comparable", MEPs said that the Commission should publish guidelines on how to use international standards and non-financial performance indicators.
Campaign group Friends of the Earth welcomed the move, and suggested that MEPs would now have to resist pressure from countries such as the UK to water down the proposals to exclude companies not listed on stock exchanges. Their campaign head Andrew Pendleton said: "Full reporting would oblige companies to disclose risks to people throughout their supply chains, which would help identify and prevent problems like unsafe factories that led to the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh this year."
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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