EUROPE- Internal Markets Commissioner Charlie McCreevy (pictured) has said the directorate is exploring a possible shareholders rights directive in the third quarter.
In a speech to the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, McCreevy said that a public consultation has been launched, and may yield a proposed directive in October.
“If we want shareholders to be more active in listed companies and committed to exercising control over companies’ boards, they may well need to be given more and clearer rights,” he said. “A public consultation has been launched on possible ways forward in these areas, which may lead to a proposal for a directive next October.”
McCreevy highlighted company law and corporate governance as key gaps hindering the integration of Europe’s services markets and urged the adoption of the 10th Company Law Directive on cross-border mergers and the Directive on Statutory Audit. The directive on cross-border mergers -the product of 20 years of negotiations - will “facilitate establishment and [make] it easier for companies to organise themselves to take advantage of the single market.”
In a separate address to the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, McCreevy also stated that there is “regulatory fatigue.”
“The last few years have been intense. That is not bad,” he said. “Let me be clear. If we want a competitive, open, dynamic capital market we need some rules that will allow financial services and capital to circulate freely.”
He also called upon a review of the EU’s supervisory structures to assure that they are able to implement the requirements of directives to achieve integration.
McCreevy has in past statements said that he does not intend to propose new legislation relating to the securities market in 2005. The financial and pension industry have said that they need time to properly absorb the new regulation found in the Financial Services Action Plan before they can take on new market regulation.
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