Recognition of the compliance studies of GUBERNA and FEB


On 9 April 2014, the European Commission published a recommendation on the quality of corporate governance reporting ('comply or explain'). This recommendation is designed to motivate companies to comply with the relevant corporate governance code or to better explain departures from it. To this end, efficient monitoring needs to be carried out at national level, within the framework of the existing monitoring arrangements. In its recommendation, the European Commission invites the Member States to inform the European Commission of the measures taken in accordance with this recommandation by 30 June 2015.

On 27 October 2015, Koen Geens, Minister of Justice, wrote a letter to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumer Rights and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová. In this letter, he gives a detailed overview of the measures taken in Belgium. He refers to the monitoring study, which is conducted biannually by GUBERNA and the FEB, but he also refers to the efforts of the Corporate Governance Committee to develop additional explanatory notes and in particular to the initiative of the chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee to address letters to those companies that deviated from the 2009 Code without providing a (high-quality) explanation.

"Since the introduction of the first Belgian Corporate Governance Code in 2004, GUBERNA (the Institute for Directors) and the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) carry out regular research on the compliance with the Code and can therefore be considered to fulfill a monitoring role in Belgium. In 2014 they finalised their fifth monitoring study.

... In the same study, GUBERNA and the FEB also examined the quality of the explanations. Based on the results hereof, the Chairman of the Committee took the initiative to address letters to the chairmen of the boards of directors of those companies that deviated from the 2009 Code without providing an explanation and to those companies who did not provide high-quality explanations for deviations from the 2009 Code." 

(Koen Geens, Minister of Justice in the Belgian federal cabinet)