In 2014 the European Commission published the EU Directive on Non-financial and Diversity information, with a deadline for Member States to transpose it into national law until December 2016. Following the transposition period there now exists a range of reporting requirements across the 28 Member States.
CSR Europe and GRI, in collaboration with Accountancy Europe, decided to collect information on Member State implementation to enable dialogue on the topic across Europe. The result is a comprehensive overview of how Member States are implementing the Directive. Initially launched at a joint event in Brussels on 22 November 2017, the overview is regularly updated and available below.
Summary of findings
The NFI Directive represents a minimum standard for non-financial reporting across the EU and, as such, allows considerable flexibility for Member States to adapt the provisions to suit their local regulatory environments. For example, Member States have full flexibility to increase the scope of the provisions so as to bring more companies under their umbrella but relatively few have chosen to do so. Instead, they rely on their existing definitions of public interest entities established under the transposition of the 2013 Accounting Directive. Nonetheless, Greece and Denmark are notable exceptions.
Practically all Member States have chosen to follow the high level of flexibility contained in the Directive that effectively allows the companies affected to choose their own reporting framework from the existing range of frameworks available.
Member states have also remained flexible regarding where the non-financial information report should be published. Approximately one third of countries have stuck with the Directive’s default position that the report should be contained in the Management report – a position that Accountancy Europe has supported.
Regarding assurance, the majority of Member States have chosen the minimum standard contained in the Directive: the auditor shall check that the required statement is present. Upon the publication of the updated report (April 2018), we have identified only two Member States that have chosen to require a higher level of assurance – France and Italy.