Integrated Reporting and EU Law. Competing, Converging or Complementary Regulatory Frameworks?
20 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 6, 2017
The paper focuses on the relation between a major global voluntary private regulatory initiative, the Integrated Reporting Framework (IR), created by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and the legally binding norms recently adopted by the European Union on corporate non-financial reporting. Despite growing interest in IR, its complex relation with parallel legal initiatives has not been systematically addressed. The paper aims to fill this gap in the literature. It critically analyses and juxtaposes the two regulatory initiatives, claiming that they have been in a constant ‘hidden dialogue’ since the very beginning. While the IIRC tends to underline continuity, the two frameworks try to answer the same question starting from very distant underlying assumptions. As of today, their impact on corporate governance, the environment and broader society would be markedly different. However, the actions of politician needing to be seen to be doing something in the public interest and of powerful business interest channelled through the accounting profession (Flower, 2015) might lead to greater convergence between the two. The paper concludes that a more open and explicit public debate on the (dis)continuity between the two regulatory initiatives is urgently needed.
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