CSR Europe, GRI and Accountancy Europe have found most EU member states are only implementing the basic requirements of the EU Directive on Non-Financial and Diversity Information.
The directive was launched in 2014 by the European Commission (EC) to help align non-financial reporting with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with member states being required to bring the directive into their own national law by 2016.
Since then, CSR Europe, GRI and Accountancy Europe have published updates on the development of regulation for non-financial reporting within the member states based on the EC’s directive.
The directive represents a minimum standard for non-financial reporting to allow each member state a level of flexibility to implement it in a way which would be suitable to their local regulatory environment.
This flexibility allows for member states to increase the scope of the provisions to make more companies within their jurisdiction accountable to the directive. Despite this, few member states have decided to expand the directive to include a greater number of companies affected by the directive.
Most member states have followed the flexible nature of the directive to allow affected companies to choose their own reporting framework as opposed to imposing a set framework.
Member states have also remained flexible on where the non-financial report should be published. Approximately a third of member states have followed the directive’s default position; for the report to be contained within the management report.
In regards to assurance, a majority of member states have chosen the minimum standard contained in the directive. France and Italy are the only two member states that have chosen to require a higher level than what is proposed in the directive.