Most laws and regulations that companies have to comply with, foresee specific and stricter regimes for companies of which the securities are publicly traded. These issuers are singled out in many regulatory areas such as corporate governance, company law, financial reporting, etc. Moreover the rules that publicly traded companies are subject to are very much spread out and they are above all very complex. Nevertheless their impact on day-to-day business is enormous and practitioners struggle to keep pace.
The great majority of the regulation is conceived in “Brussels” with the European legislator, a complex and time consuming process that involves numerous authorities, institutions and stakeholders. Companies doing business in Europe need to think European so as to contribute to the achievement of a large, integrated European financial market that will facilitate their further development.
The globalization of the legal and regulatory environment surrounding financial markets is not only occurring in Europe but also across the Atlantic. The regulation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission affects many of our European based companies of which the securities are being traded in the U.S.A.
Finally, adding to the already vast sources of legislation and regulation, European and international standard setting bodies nowadays also take up a prominent role and produce standards that know a wide implementation and will fundamentally change the landscape of financial reporting, transactions processing and the like.
European listed companies need adequate and effective means to contribute to the legislative, regulatory and standard setting processes. For obvious reasons, European and international regulators are more receptive towards supra-national groups. Therefore positions that were traditionally taken by various national organizations need to be coordinated on a supra-national level. This concept rapidly gained popularity with a growing number of existing national organizations as well as with the regulatory bodies. Experience shows that European public companies and national representative organizations benefit from joining EuropeanIssuers.