The new Corporate Governance Code

May 15, 2023

Dieuwertje de Leeuw wrote an article on the updated Corporate Governance Code for the legal journal Bedrijfsjuridische Berichten. She discusses the changes compared to the previous version and how the best practices have been adapted and supplemented. Finally, she considers the future of the Corporate Governance Code.

Sustainable long-term value creation, diversity and inclusion

One of the most striking changes is the focus on the board’s obligation to develop a vision aimed at sustainable long-term value creation. In doing so, the board should pay attention to, among other things, the impact of the company and its affiliates on people and the environment and making a fair contribution to the countries in which the company operates. Clearly, more attention is being paid to the balance between the social, ecological and economic aspects of doing business. In addition, the updated Corporate Governance Code concretises various principles and best practice provisions on diversity and inclusion. Among other things, the Corporate Governance Code addresses how policy on diversity and inclusion should be designed.

Looking ahead

It remains to be seen how long the publication of the next version of Corporate Governance Code will take, as the Commission already indicates that certain topics are underexposed in the new version. Among other issues, the differences between companies with a one-tier board and a two-tier board have not been sufficiently highlighted. In addition, the Commission makes a number of other recommendations on specific topics. For example, in the next version, the Commission suggests looking at the accountability of the remuneration practice within the company, given the existing field of tension in this area. Finally, Dieuwertje de Leeuw discusses the possible legal embedding of the Corporate Governance Code.

If you have any questions as a result of the article (in Dutch), or would like to exchange views on governance within your organisation, please feel free to contact us.

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