EC conference on the proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and the way forward

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07 May 2021

In its efforts to revise the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), the European Commission (EC) in April 2021 published a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). At a high-level conference on 6 May 2021 "Proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive - The Way Forward" participants also discussed the tight timeframe of the EC proposals.

The EC proposed a transposition of the CSRD into national law by member states by 1 December 2022, so that the amendments would be applicable for the first time for fiscal years beginning on or after 1 January 2023. In her keynote speech, Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, highlighted that the timing was ambitious. The draft CSRD proposed that for reporting under the new directive, European sustainability reporting standards that are still to be developed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) would have to be applied.

Ms McGuinness stated "we don't have a lot of time", but also added "but we will make sure that we will have those standards". She explained that to allow setting up the new structure within EFRAG, but to also have the standards available in time, the EC would task EFRAG to do these two things in parallel: set up the new Board and corresponding technical structures and also begin with the development of the new EU non-financial reporting standards based on the work done by the project task force on preparatory work for the elaboration of possible EU non-financial reporting standards of the European Corporate Reporting Lab, which works under the roof of EFRAG, but is not subject to its governance structure. Those standards would later be approved by the new technical bodies within EFRAG.

A recording of the conference is available on the EC website. Ms McGuinness' keynote address and her answers to questions from the audience begin at about 14:15hrs.

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