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European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)

The Importance of the Involvement of Stakeholders in Developing Legislation

Seminar Corporate Governance: Recent Developments organized by the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht (NL), 17-18 June 2004


As part of a series of seminars on financial services and money laundering , this seminar focused on a wide field that comprises company law, accounting and audit, financial services (investment and capital services), issues related to risk mitigation (reputational risk) and "good governance" in the widest sense. It is a broad area where many new initiatives are taken following recent scandals involving Enron, Ahold, Parmalat and others. The seminar aimed to give an overview of EU initiatives and the revised OECD principles of corporate governance (2004) and to provided comments and insights of academics and of the "market" (consultants, lawyers and business people).

Gregory Maassen's contribution to the seminar was titled: "Experiences of Implementing Corporate Governance in Transition Economies: A Practitioner's View."The Powerpoint presentation is available here:

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From the conference proceedings:

Following the "Winter" report of 2002, a recent EU Communication was adopted on 21 May 2003 that explains why the European regulatory framework for company law and corporate governance needs new initiatives, aiming either at modernising the existing European Union company law instruments or at completing the European Union framework with a limited number of legislative proposals. The most compelling arguments for such initiatives are the damaging impact of recent financial scandals, the growing trend of European companies to operate cross-border in the Internal Market, the continuing integration of European capital markets, the rapid development of new information and communication technologies, and the forthcoming enlargement of the European Union to 10 new Member States.

The main objectives pursued by the Commission's Communication called "Modernisation of Company Law and Enhancement of Corporate Governance in the European Union: A Plan to Move Forward" are to strengthen shareholder rights and third-party protection, with a proper distinction between categories of companies, and to foster efficiency and competitiveness of business, with special attention to some specific cross-border issues. The Action Plan is based on a comprehensive set of proposals, grouped under six headings: corporate governance, capital maintenance and alteration, groups and pyramids, corporate restructuring and mobility, the European Private Company, cooperatives and other forms of enterprises.

Moreover, in the spring of 2004, the OECD Members are expected to adopt a revised version of the OECD Principles on Corporate Governance. This revision merits review at this EIPA seminar.

The seminar is intended to reach a wide audience of lawyers, accountants and regulators involved in the field of corporate governance, financial services and company law. This event should be of particular interest to the accession Member States and to other economies that may be considered to be in a transitional phase and are also looking into general and specific good governance issues.



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