Remuneration of Directors - Dossier Economic Policy Committee Reopens Debate

European Social Policy, June 17, 2008 | Go to article overview
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Remuneration of Directors - Dossier Economic Policy Committee Reopens Debate


Commissioner Joaquin Almunia did not hide his disappointment during the Ecofin Council regarding the low degree of application by member states of the European Commission's 2004 recommendations. In July 2007, a report had already expressed the Commission's regret that the issue of the divulgation of remuneration has not made clear progress, save a "small number of member states".

On 23 April, the Economic Policy Committee (EPC) once again drove home the point. In a note for the attention of the Eurogroup, the EPC believes that the level of implementation of the Commission's recommendations "differs substantially" from one country to another. Concerning the performance criterion, it is only "vaguely defined" and when it is clear, this criterion is not transparent enough.

Nor is the question of golden handshakes evaded: for the EPC, this subject should be studied with "special attention". Leaving pay should be linked "in an appropriate way" to the contribution of the director to his company's success, knowing that at this stage two member states (Cyprus and Portugal) have still not legislated on the matter.

The EPC also stresses that in mergers and acquisitions matters, there is a "low degree of divulgation" of information which could cover up "potential conflicts of interest". There is also a lacuna in that the shareholders' control of the remuneration policy proposed by the Commission in its recommendation remains low.

COORDINATED FISCAL APPROACH

At the end of an exchange of viewpoints with the 15 eurozone member states (EU15), the EPC believes that member states could plan a clarification of the performance criterion (set out by the Commission's recommendation).

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Remuneration of Directors - Dossier Economic Policy Committee Reopens Debate
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