Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



This paper contains the European Company Law Experts' response to one of the main issues raised in the European Commission’s Action Plan of 12 December 2012, namely how to make corporate governance codes more effective. The concept of “codes’ effectiveness” has two meanings: effectiveness of the comply-explain mechanism (disclosure effectiveness) and level of adoption of the codes’ recommendations themselves (substantive effectiveness). The ECLE believes that it is of crucial importance to keep the advantages of regulation by codes while finding adequate improvements of the quality of the reports and the explanations. The relationship between the content of corporate governance codes and disclosure is discussed. A “culture of departure from code recommendations”, if well explained, is needed. The quality of corporate governance reports and the explanations should primarily be improved by incentives, but non-legal and legal sanctions may help. Improvements may also be possible by mobilizing private actors and/or by charging public or private agents and agencies with inspection and monitoring.


Business Organizations Law | European Law | Law