Enterprises : Near Unanimous Disappointment in Social Business' Package
The general impression that emerges from reactions to the social business' package, adopted by the European Commission on 25 October, is that the executive could have done better. This set of measures is meant to promote corporate social responsibility, cut red tape for small companies and improve the transparency of listed companies. Apparently, though, it failed to convince stakeholders, who of course welcome the initiative but regret its lack of ambition and weaknesses, as well as its unacceptable costs.
The Greens in the European Parliament applaud this "first step towards improving transparency on payments and the responsibility of large groups" but they regret that the Commission "does not go far enough" on the content of obligations and the range of sectors concerned, which should not be limited to the extractive and logging industries alone. This view is shared by the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ), which finds that the proposal does not go far enough on the liability of a parent company for damage caused by its subsidiaries (in a third country, for example) or on means of redress for victims.
The package also gets mixed reviews from the European association of SMEs (UEAPME), which applauds the intention of simplifying the preparation of financial statements - while expressing a reservation about the measure's estimated 1.7 million in potential savings - but notes that the communication on corporate social responsibility "leaves a lot to be desired". …