The overarching objective of the Listing Act is clear and unambiguous – to strengthen capital markets within the EU. It is hugely important that this objective remains the guiding compass for co-legislators, and that they do not lose track. Nevertheless, some deeply concerning proposals, undermining the Directive’s core objective, are still being pushed by the European Parliament to be included in the proposed Directive on multiple-vote share structures. The push continues in spite of a lack of impact assessments and without support from experts in the field. On the contrary, leading business organizations, with support from widely respected representatives from the academia, have jointly called on the legislators to remain focused on the core purpose of the proposed Directive, and to remove those provisions likely to have negative impacts.
The proposals that cause the greatest concern include restrictions that the Member States may choose to adopt, including sunset clauses and constraints on using enhanced voting rights on certain sustainability related matters. It may seem like an easy way forward to accept voluntary restrictions, as these would not be binding on Member States. However, we continue to stress that the inclusion of this type of language is highly inappropriate. The reasons for this include the following:
Instead, the Directive should acknowledge the broad agreement that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution in this area. Equally important, any potential review clauses that encourage increased regulatory interventions that lack an evidence base should be avoided. This is in order not to divert focus from the implementation and realisation of the Directive’s important objectives.EU