The EACB welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Commission’s Consultation Document Proposal for an Initiative on Sustainable Corporate Governance.
As cooperative banks which are deeply rooted in local communities, primarily focused on the promotion of the interest of our member customers, not on maximising profit, we are very much in favor of a holistic approach to business and believe that all companies must reflect the social and environmental dimension in the way they do business.
We see also see there is a need for clarity in the EU framework for supply chain due diligence to determine shared values and to ensure a level playing field on the matter.
While we appreciate that the ongoing debate on sustainable corporate governance in the European Commission and Parliament touches upon the crucial area of sustainability and aims to contribute to the green transition, we regret to note that the corporate diversity and, more importantly, the particularities of cooperatives so far have not been considered by the EU regulators. When discussing future measures intended for companies to take a more long-term perspective in their business and to reflect the concern of stakeholders, the Commission should adequately consider the specific governance of cooperatives which are by nature well-tailored to reflect long-term orientation, sustainability goals and the views of stakeholders. Cooperatives have shareholders/members participating and influencing the companies’ policies, and are by nature fully engaged to support the local economy and the interests of the local society.