Opening remarks

George Ciamba

Minister Delegate for European Affairs, Romania

Corporate governance remains one of the pivotal elements of sustainable business, enabling companies to build a foundation of trust with the management, the investment communities, the regulatory agencies as well as the public. The quality of governance, both corporate and public, has a direct effect on the national economic performance and ultimately, impacts the global financial stability.

The global economic landscape is transforming at a faster pace than ever. Entrepreneurs and innovators around the world are the driving force behind this expansion. One of the main challenges that the European Union faces today is to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. For this reason, there is a need for a more ethical approach that focuses not only on profit, but on the overall long-term value of our organizations. Sustainable growth can increase market share and have a positive impact on shareholder value, creating the premises for a win-win outcome. However, it needs to be a joint effort by governments and companies aimed at creating long-term value.

The impact of the digital revolution at both European and global level has led to an integrated global economy where markets are in constant search for investment opportunities around the world. The business environment needs reliable corporate governance arrangements that may strengthen the confidence in a country’s cooperation in stock markets and ensure efficient economic decision-making. At the same time, the next EU budget should have a clear reference to a digital Europe and more fundamental research that could have a great benefit for Europe catching up on the transatlantic competition.

In recent years, the EU initiatives aimed at finalizing the Banking Union and advancing the Capital Market Union played a double role. We must upgrade the regulatory frameworks and consolidate economic resilience, on the one hand, and we must create the premises for a more business-friendly growth oriented economic environment, on the other.

Now, coming to the end of the legislative mandate of the European Parliament, the EU legislators have agreed on several proposals pivotal to the economic growth of the EU, including key measures aimed at reducing risks and creating a more robust and more resilient EU banking sector and an action plan to tackle non-performing loans. Other proposals such as growth markets for SMEs, cross-border distribution of funds, and covered bonds will contribute to more efficient financing on investment projects by unlocking additional sources of funding.

After years of tough negotiations on the revision of the European system of Financial Supervision, the newly approved text will strengthen the regulatory architecture of the financial system. It will enable European macro prudential supervisory authorities to better manage shocks and to contribute to efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The overall effect is that of a more stable and more resilient market economy equipped with tools to better manage fluctuation and risk across the board and, at the same time, holding companies more accountable. Finally, the EU action plan for sustainable finance put forward new rules on integrating environmental, social and governance factors in investment decision-making process to reflect the latest evolution in corporate governance.

The future of Europe cannot be built without a sustainable economic foundation. Financing growth and development are the driving forces of a Union that empowers and protects. A Union that can stand its ground globally and plays a leadership role in the world.