The public consultation for a revised Belgian corporate governance code, which will account for changes in the market and regulations, will draw to a close at the end of this month (February).
So far, the Belgian government’s commission for corporate governance has published a revised version of the 2009 code, a summary of the key changes and a comparative study conducted by law firm Allen & Overy on corporate governance codes.
“With this revision, the commission wants to ensure that the code will remain relevant for the Belgian listed companies in the coming years and will help them to create long-term value,” said Thomas Leysen, president of the commission.
After the close of the consultation, the commission will publish the reactions it has received. It said it wanted to publish a definitive version of the code as well as a report, with the findings and conclusions of the public consultation by mid-2018. Companies may choose to adopt the code for the accounting year starting January 2018 or wait until 2020.
The commission said that the context has evolved since the code of 2009 took effect, with changes in regulation at both the European and Belgian level and in the way that companies are managed. There have also been developments in international trends and good practices.
It said the revised code goes back to the essence of the principles of real added value and that a number of more detailed provisions and guidelines have been scrapped. The new code also aims to make directors keep in mind long-term value creation and ensure that remuneration policy reflects this.
Furthermore, directors must behave with integrity and be “aware of every possible form of conflict of interest and deal with it with the utmost care”.
To be dynamic, compliance with the new code will be evaluated periodically in light of the changing business situation.
Details about the public consultation and supporting documents can be found here.