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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs


Governance policies oncorporate social responsibility.

Corporate sustainability due diligence: On 23 February 2022, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence. The aim of this Directive is to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour and to anchor human rights and environmental considerations in companies’ operations and corporate governance. The new rules will ensure that businesses address adverse impacts of their actions, including in their value chains inside and outside Europe.

Public procurement: Under EU public procurement rules, contracting authorities may take multiple aspects into account when purchasing works, goods or services. Examples include protecting the environment, supporting social considerations and fostering innovation. Green Public procurement and Social procurement can be important elements in fostering sustainability in the EU economy.

Anti-corruption: Fighting corruption is an important element of responsible business conduct

To fight tax evasion, a corruption-related crime, Directive (EU) 2010/24 provides for mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to taxes, duties and other measures. Directive (EU) 2011/16 in Administrative Cooperation in direct taxation provides for mutual assistance to combat tax evasion and tax avoidance, as well as measures to enhance corporate tax transparency.

Country by country reporting (CBCR): The CBCR directive aims to enhance the corporate transparency of big multinational companies. It will require certain multinational undertakings with revenue of more than €750 million to disclose publicly in a specific report the income tax they pay..

Shareholders rights Directive (EU) 2007/36  sets out certain rights for shareholders in listed companies. This Directive was amended by Directive (EU) 2017/828, which aims to encourage more long-term engagement of shareholders.

Protection of whistleblowers: Providing effective protection to whistleblowers (i.e. persons who report or disclose information on a wrongdoing) from retaliation increases legal certainty for potential whistleblowers and thereby encourages whistleblowing also through the media. The Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law was adopted on 23 October 2019 and entered into force on 16 December 2019.

Equal pay: The Pay transparency directive entered into force on 6 June 2023. The new rules will provide for more transparency and effective enforcement of the equal pay principle between women and men as well as improve access to justice for victims of pay discrimination.