Consultation on country-by-country financial reporting
On 26 October 2010, the Commission opened a public consultation on country-by-country financial reporting of multinational companies. Such information on their operations in various countries could be contained their annual financial statements. The Commission points out that this could enhance transparency for investors and also tax administrations, notably in developing countries. On the other hand, this could increase administrative burden and lead to a competitive disadvantage where sensitive information would have to be made publically available and thereby accessible to competitors in non-EU countries. Therefore the kind of information to be disclosed and the question whether it should be reported to authorities or made publically available should be considered.
The Commission asks whether country-by-country financial reporting should be limited to certain sectors, notably mining, where corporate social responsibility is seen particularly important, pointing out that similar legislation has been adopted in the US. Additional questions concern the format of information and thresholds for possible exemptions.
The consultation will be open until 22 December 2010. The questionnaire is available in English and German (see menu top right hand corner).