New directions in EU Corporate Reporting and Due Diligence, Accountability: the Challenge of Complexity

Welcome to this afternoon seminar with presentation by Charlotte Villiers, Professor of Company Law and Corporate Governance, University of Bristol Law School.

Open for all interested. Please register your participation.


Major effort is being dedicated to shaping new laws to ensure corporate accountability and sustainability. At the European level the Sustainable Corporate Governance initiative is likely to result in the introduction of new reporting requirements to replace the 2014 Non-financial Reporting Directive, changes to directors’ duties to ensure they take account of the stakeholders’ needs and environmental and human rights due diligence requirements. These measures promise to deepen and strengthen the regulatory framework to drive forward the agenda for sustainable business and finance. This paper will argue that whilst these legislative and regulatory efforts are to be welcomed, they face challenges that arise from a context in which complexity is a key feature. Such complexity has the potential to stand in the way of achieving the goal of business sustainability. If these new legislative measures are not accompanied by steps to reduce the complexities they may be doomed to disappointment. The paper will first describe how complexity has engulfed the global business arena and the impacts and consequences of such complexity. The paper will go on in part 2 to highlight the existing problems of complexity that infiltrate the reporting framework and will consider to what extent the new legislation will respond to that complexity. Then the paper, in part 3, will look at the due diligence requirements and will explore the challenges of complexity within the due diligence process. The paper will offer in part 4 some proposals for responding effectively to complexity and the problems to which it gives rise.


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Published Jan. 18, 2022 9:22 AM - Last modified Jan. 18, 2022 9:23 AM