Greece

    State Greece

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    Corporate Governance

    Draft Law about the transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/2034 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on the prudential supervision of investment firms and amending Directives 2002/87/EC, 2009/65/EC (Articles 82 par. 2 and 88 par. 1 (b))

    Subject matter: Corporate Governance Type: Law
    Legal status: Pending adoption / not yet in force Applicable to: Investment Firms

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Under the draft law, the remuneration policies and practices of investment firms shall be gender-neutral.

      Variable remuneration awarded and paid by an investment firm shall also, when assessing the performance of the individual, take into account non-financial criteria (such as ESG factors).

     

    Corporate Law 4548/2018 (art. 110 - 111, implementing art. 9a of Directive 2007/26 EC, Directive 2017/828/EU and article 112, implementing art. 9b of Directive 2007/26 EC, Directive 2017/828/EU)

    Consolidated form of Corporate Law 4548/2018 available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Corporate Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: Large listed undertakings defined in the law as undertakings which, on the date of their annual balance sheet, have an average of more than 500 employees during the relevant fiscal year.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Under the law, large (i.e. entities which, on the date of their annual balance sheet, have an average of more than 500 employees during the relevant fiscal year) listed companies shall have in place a sustainability policy (which forms part of their Internal Rules of Operation).

     

    Greek Criminal Code, as amended and in force

    Consolidated form of the Greek Criminal Code available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Corporate Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: 

    Bribery committed within the Greek territory, regardless of the nationality of the culprit.

    Punishable acts include:

    (-) bribery acts committed by Greek individuals/companies abroad provided that such act(s) are characterized by Greek Criminal Code as felonies or misdemeanours and are punishable under the laws of the country they took place, or if they took place in a country without a proper government;

    (-) bribery acts committed by foreign individuals/companies outside Greek jurisdiction provided that such act(s) are characterized by Greek Criminal Code as felonies or misdemeanours, that are committed against Greek citizens and are punishable under the laws of the country they took place, or if they took place in a country without a proper government.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Anti-bribery and other anti-corruption provisions are all included in the Greek Criminal Code, as amended and in force. In particular, the Greek Criminal Code deals with bribery as follows:

      (-) Art. 235 and 236: passive and active bribery, respectively;

      (-) Art. 237: active and passive bribery of a judge;

      (-) Art. 159 and 159A: passive and active bribery of political officials, respectively;

      (-) Art. 237a: Merchandise of Influence - Intermediaries, i.e., bribes that were carried out through an intermediary or third party;

      (-) Art. 396: passive and active bribery in the private sector.

      Furthermore, Greece has ratified all major conventions on combating corruption both on an international and European level and therefore domestic legislation as regards bribery and corruption complies with the international and European legal framework.

     

    1. Law 4308/2014 (Law for Greek Accounting Standards), as amended and in force

    Consolidated form of Law 4308/2014 (Law for Greek Accounting Standards) available in non-governmental source

    2. Law 4172/2013 (Income Tax Code), as amended and in force

    Consolidated form of Law 4172/2013 ( Income Tax Code) available in non-governmental source

    3. Law 4557/2018 on Money Laundering, as amended and in force

    Consolidated form of Law 4557/2018 on Money Laundering available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Corporate

    Type: Law

    Legal status: In force Applicable to: Greek registered companies and non-Greek registered companies having permanent establishment in Greece.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Law 4557/2018 on Money Laundering, as amended and in force, provides that in the event that bribery acts (as a predicate offence to money laundering) are committed for the benefit of a company in violation of the common provisions of Criminal Code or special legislation enacted for the purposes of ratifying international treaties and conventions against corruption, special administrative sanctions may be imposed against the company.

      The Law for Greek Accounting Standards (L. 4308/2014), the Income Tax Code (L. 4172/2013) and L. 4557/2018 on Money Laundering, as amended and in force, require companies to register all transactions with their books in accordance with certain rules, making all transactions readily and duly traceable. Besides, companies are obliged to annually file financial statements with the Tax Authority as well as to annually publish their balance sheets following external auditing.

      The above legislation is also supported by guidelines in relation to compliance issues circulated primarily by the Ministry of Finance and/or the Bank of Greece.
     
    Business and human rights

    EU legislation:

    EU Human Rights Sanction regime

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Social policy

    Legal status: Adopted by the EC in December 2020

    Applicable to: EU persons, companies incorporated or constituted under the law of an EU Member State, non-EU companies in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the EU

     

    Summary and recent developments

    In December 2020, the Council adopted the EU’s first global human rights sanctions regime. This new regime allows the EU to impose travel bans and financial sanctions on individuals, entities and bodies (including state and non-state actors) responsible for, involved in or associated with serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide, irrespective of where they occurred.

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    EU Human Rights due diligence regime

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Social policy

    Legal status:  Legislative proposal expected in Q2 2021

    Applicable to: Likely companies active in the EU

     

    Summary and recent developments

    As part of its wider consultation on sustainable corporate governance, the Commission is considering the adopting of a new corporate due diligence duty, which could require companies to implement adequate processes to prevent, mitigate and account for human rights, health and safety, and environmental impacts in the company’s own operations and in its supply chain.

    Pay Transparency Directive

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Social policy

    Legal status: Proposal adopted on 4 March 2021

    Applicable to: Employers in the public and private sectors

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The proposal sets out pay transparency measures, such as pay information for job seekers, a right to know the pay levels for workers doing the same work, as well as gender pay gap reporting obligations for big companies (with at least 250 employees). The proposal also strengthens the tools for workers to claim their rights and facilitates access to justice. Employees will also have the right to compensation for discrimination in pay.

    The proposal falls within the Commission Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.

    Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

    Subject matter (E/S/G): business human rights

    Type: Non-financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    A draft legislative proposal has been adopted by the Commission on 21 April 2021.

    The Directive shall apply to financial years starting on or after 1 January 2023, except for SMEs, which will not need to start reporting in line with the directive until 1 January 2026.

    Applicable to: Listed companies, with the exception of listed micro-enterprises.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    This Directive stems from the reviewal of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, which imposes requirements on large public interest entities to include a non-financial statement in their annual report. The information reported by the companies have however been considered as not sufficient. The proposal adopted in April 2021 will amend the existing reporting requirements of the NFRD, by extending the scope of the directive, requiring the audit of reported information, introducing more detailed reporting requirements, and requiring companies to digitally “tag” the reported information. The proposal also envisages the adoption of EU sustainability reporting standards, which would be developed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group, and adopted by October 2022.

    Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence

    Subject matter (E/S/G): business human rights

    Type: social policy

    Legal status: 

    EC’s legislative proposal adopted on 23 February 2022.

    The proposal will be presented to the European Parliament and the Council for approval. Once adopted, Member States will have two years to transpose the Directive into national law.

    Applicable to: 

    EU companies:

    • Group 1: all EU limited liability companies of substantial size and economic power (with 500+ employees and EUR 150 million+ in net turnover worldwide).
    • Group 2: Other limited liability companies operating in defined high impact sectors, which do not meet both Group 1 thresholds, but have more than 250 employees and a net turnover of EUR 40 million worldwide and more. For these companies, rules will start to apply 2 years later than for group 1.

    Non-EU companies active in the EU with turnover threshold aligned with Group 1 and 2, generated in the EU.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The Draft Directive sets out duties for companies in scope to undertake due diligence for actual or potential adverse human rights and environmental impacts in their own operations, those of their subsidiaries and in their value chains (direct and indirect established business relationships).

    In addition, group 1 companies need to have a plan to ensure that their business strategy is compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5 °C in line with the Paris Agreement.

    The proposal also includes provisions in relation to voluntary model contractual clauses, public support by Member States, and directors' duties.

    National administrative authorities appointed by Member States will be responsible for supervising these new rules and may impose fines in case of non-compliance. In addition, victims will have the opportunity to take legal action for damages that could have been avoided with appropriate due diligence measures.

     
    Labour practices

    Content Coming Soon

     
    Environment

    EU legislation:

    European Climate Law

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Environmental policy

    Legal status: The European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the Climate Law Regulation in April 2021. The file is now being prepared for formal adoption.

    Applicable to: EU Institutions and national governments

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The Commission’s proposal for the first European Climate Law aims to write into law the goal set out in the European Green Deal – for Europe’s economy and society to become climate-neutral by 2050.

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    “Omnibus ESA” Regulation (EU) 2019/2175 (ESAO) amending Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 (the EBA Regulation), Regulation (EU) No 1094/2010 (the EIOPA Regulation), and Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 (the ESMA Regulation).

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Prudential measures

    Legal status: Entry into force: 30 December 2019

    Applicable to: Institutions subject to supervision by the EBA, EIOPA and ESMA

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The Omnibus Regulation establishes ESG-related factors as part of the EBA, EIOPA and ESMA’s “scope of action” and assigns each with the task of monitoring and assessing ESG-related developments in their areas of competence.

    The Omnibus Regulation also modifies Article 23 (1) of each regulation, requiring each authority to develop criteria for the identification and measurement of systemic risk, including environmental risks, and Article 29 (1) of each regulation, requiring each authority to put in place a monitoring system to assess material ESG-related risks, taking into account the Paris Agreement.

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    Low Carbon Benchmark Regulations (Regulation (EU) 2019/2089) (Benchmark Regulations)

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    Entry into force: 10 December 2019

    Applicable to: Benchmark administrators

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The Benchmark Regulations require benchmark administrators to disclose ESG factors, and include disclosure in their benchmark statement on how their methodology aligns with the target of carbon emissions reduction or attains the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

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    EU Green Bond Standard

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Environmental policy

    Legal status: Legislative proposal expected by June 2021

    Applicable to: Likely financial advisers and financial market participants

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The EU Green Bond Standard was announced on 14 January 2020 as part of the European Green Deal Investment Plan. A legal proposal is expected by June 2021.

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    Sustainable Finance Taxonomy Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2020/852)

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Taxonomy, financial reporting and non-financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    Entry into force: 12 July 2020.

    Delegated Act:

    • Approved by the Commission on 21 April 2021, it will be formally adopted only once it has been translated in all EU languages at the end of May.

    Application from 1 January 2022.

    Applicable to: 
    • Financial market participants who offer financial products and market these as environmentally sustainable
    • Organisations covered by the NFRD and SFDR

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The Taxonomy Regulation sets out an EU-wide framework and classification system according to which investors and businesses can assess whether certain economic activities are environmentally sustainable.

    The Taxonomy Regulation introduces amendments to disclosure requirements under SFDR and NFRD.

     

    Greek Competition Act (Law 3959/2011) -Article 37A as introduced by the Amending

    Law 4886/2022 on the modernisation of competition law, amendment of l.3959/2011 and incorporation of Directive (EU) 2019/1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market

    Consolidated form of Greek Competition Act (Law 3959/2011) available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: 

    Entry into force: from its publication at the Government Gazette on 24 January 2022 (issue A' 12) (except for article 4 of the Amending Act)

     

    HCC's decision laying down the criteria and conditions for issuance of a no enforcement letter is expected to be issued in the future (hence applicability of art.37A depends on issuance of said HCC decision).
    Applicable to: All companies to engage in certain multilateral (horizontal or vertical) or unilateral conduct which falls within the ambit of Greek competition rules (art. 1 and art. 2 of Greek Competition Act and/or art. 101 and art. 102 of TFEU).

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Under the newly introduced art. 37A of the Greek Competition Act, the HCC Chairman, following recommendation of the Directorate General for Competition, may issue a letter to interested parties following their request, stating that no enforcement action will be taken against certain multilateral (horizontal or vertical) or unilateral conduct either because the conditions for the finding of an infringement of applicable competition rules are not met or when this is justified by reasons of public interest, such as the attainment of sustainable development goals.

     

    Law 4819/2021 on Integrated framework for waste management

    Consolidated form of Law 4819/2021 on Integrated framework for waste management available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All individuals and entities producing waste - certain provisions applicable to certain industries.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • The law, which transposes Directives 2008/98/EC and 2018/852/EU, reforms the framework for waste management in Greece by introducing a hierarchal order of waste management options prioritizing prevention, followed by reuse, recycling and recovery over disposal.

      Under article 11 specific categories of products and waste producers (a. packaging producers as per Article 84; b. producers subject to extended producer responsibility schemes by virtue of other laws and c. Excavation, Construction and Demolition Waste Managers) are obliged to finance and participate in "Alternative Waste Management Schemes" to facilitate re-use, recycling or recovery of waste from their activities. The same producers are also under also under the obligation to register with the National Register of Producers of Packaging and other Products.

      The law additionally sets specific rules regarding management of waste from various other activities including bio-waste (50) food waste (article 20), intensive poultry and swine farming (article 24) textile manufacturing and distribution, electrical and electronic equipment, sanitary products, footwear and books (article 19).

      As regards hazardous waste, under Article 45 it is mandatory to label and package in the course of its collection, transport and temporary storage.

      As regards asbestos waste and other waste containing asbestos, Article 48 stipulates that landowners, tenants and companies or organisations owning or managing water supply or sewerage networks where asbestos is present are obliged to ensure or tolerate its safe collection and removal from all spaces.

     

    Ministerial Decision 85858/2021 on Implementation measures for Regulation 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All undertakings involved with fluorinated greenhouse gas as defined under Article 2 (30) of Regulation 517/2014

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Article 11 of this law stipulates that only duly licensed and certified undertakings may purchase or sell fluorinated greenhouse gases and that all staff handling such gases shall also be duly certified.

     

    Consolidated form of Law 4014/2011 on Environmental Permitting of projects available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All individuals and entities

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • This Law, the main Greek environmental permitting law, provides that all projects and activities conducted in Greece, unless explicitly exempt, may only be executed if prior environmental permission has been obtained.

      The law classifies activities and projects into three categories (A1, A2 and B) based on their environmental impact, and provides for different permit conditions and processes for each of them. Activities and projects not found in the lists follow the rules and procedures of the closest listed activity or project.

    Ministerial Decision 181478/2017 on Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowance Trading Scheme

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All individuals and entities involved in the industrial activities of Annex I and air transport, with the exceptions listed in Annex I

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • The Decision, which transposes Directive 2003/87/EC, introduces the scheme for Gas Emission Allowance Trading for specific industrial and air transport activities mentioned in Annex I. The Decision requires polluters active in the aforementioned industries to hold emissions rights equal to their actual emissions as well as to hold a greenhouse emission license.

     

    Law 3199/2003 on Water protection and management

    Consolidated form of Law 3199/2003 on Water protection and management available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All individuals and entities

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Under Article 11 of the law, which serves as the main water protection framework in Greek law, supply and use of water, as well as the execution of water resources development projects are subject to prior permissions for any public or private entity.

      Most importantly, the same Article grants regions of Greece the authority to impose additional conditions or controls for the issuance of the permit as well as to restrict certain uses of water or projects.

      Additionally, by virtue of Article 7, each region of Greece issues River Basin Management Plans with which all projects and activities which may cause pollution by discharging liquid waste into the environment should be compliant.

     

    Law 1650/1986 on Environment Protection

    Consolidated form of Law 1650/1986 on Environment Protection available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All individuals and entities

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • The Environment Protection law authorizes Ministers to impose limitations on activities that may potentially degrade the quality of the atmosphere, water or land. To date, tens of ministerial decisions have regulated activities by virtue of this law. Some of the most prominent ministerial decrees include M.D. 11642/2002 for the restriction of use of genetically modified micro-organisms, M.Ds 30408/2003 and 74379/2004 for car air pollution, M.D. 33437/2008 for the Approval of the National Plan for the reduction of pollutant emissions from existing large combustion plants and M.D. 145116/2011 for re-use of treated water-waste.

      Furthermore, article 28 provides the imposition of fines on anyone who pollutes or degrades the environment.

     

    Law 998/1979 on Forest Protection

    Consolidated form of Law 998/1979 on Forest Protection available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All individuals and entities

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Forest Protection Law in principle outlaws any intervention that could be detrimental to the forest areas of Greece.

      However, articles 45 to 61 set out a long list of exceptions and the respective conditions and rules, thus providing the main framework for economic activity in forest areas, which cover a significant part of Greece's landmass.

     

    Ministerial Decision 172058/2016 on Measures to tackle the risk of accidents in establishments or units due to the presence of dangerous substances

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All establishments where dangerous substances are present except those exempt under article 2 of the Directive 2012/18/EU

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Τhe Decision, which transposes 2012/18/EU into Greek law, requires operators of establishments where dangerous substances are present to take precautionary measures against the risk of accidents and sets penalties for non-compliance.

      The obligations imposed by the M.D. differ based on the amount of dangerous substances present in the establishment. However, all operators are required to set out a "major-accident prevention policy" for their establishments and ensure its implementation.

     

    Biodiversity conservation Law 3937/2011

    Consolidated version of Law 3937/2011 on Biodiversity conservation available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All individuals and entities

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Article 9 regulates economic activity in the numerous "Natura 2000" areas of Greece, by prohibiting a series of activities including among others noisy and dangerous industrial installations falling under Directive 96/82/EC and "high-disturbance" installations.

     

    Consolidated version of Law 4122/2013 on Energy Performance of Buildings available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: All entities and individuals

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • The law, which transposes Directive 2010/31/EU, stipulates that all new and majorly renovated buildings, without prejudice to those expressly exempt (e.g. industrial, religious buildings), shall meet the minimum energy performance requirements set in the law and the accompanying Energy Performance of Buildings Regulation.

      Additionally, article 9 provides that all new buildings of the wider public sector and private sector shall be "nearly zero-energy buildings"

     

    Proposed National Climate Law - Transition to climate neutrality and adaptation to climate change

    Subject matter: Environment Type: Law
    Legal status: Public consultation completed - Expected to be adopted in the first half of 2022 Applicable to: All entities and individuals

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • The proposed law, under its current form, outlaws energy production from solid fossil fuels from 2028 onwards and mandates a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030 for projects with significant environmental impact (category A projects of law 4014/2011).

      Moreover, it provides that from 2023, ¼ of all newly acquired or leased corporate vehicles must be electric or hybrid.

      The law further establishes time-progressive measures to prioritize gas use over oil. As a first step, from 2023 onwards, the installation of heating oil burners is forbidden where a natural gas network is sufficiently available leading up to the complete ban on heating oil burners by 2030.

     

    Proposed National Climate Law - Transition to climate neutrality and adaptation to climate change - art. 17

    Subject matter: Environment, non-financial Type: Law
    Legal status: Public consultation completed - Expected to be adopted in the first half of 2022 Applicable to: Listed companies, credit institutions, insurance companies, investment firms, telecommunications companies, water and sewerage companies, courier companies, electricity and gas supply companies, retail chains employing more than five hundred (500) employees, logistics service providers

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • As of 31.03.2023, listed companies, credit institutions, insurance companies, investment firms, telecommunications companies, water and sewerage companies, courier companies, electricity and gas supply companies, retail chains employing more than five hundred (500) employees and logistics service providers are required to publish yearly reports on their carbon footprint.

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    Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) Net Zero Investment Framework

    Subject matter (E/S/G):  E

    Type: Non-financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    Applicable to: Financial institutions such as pension funds and asset managers

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The Net Zero Investment Framework provides recommended methodologies and actions which asset owners and asset managers should utilise to assess and undertake alignment of their portfolios towards net zero, in order to maximise their contribution to the decarbonisation of the real economy. The Framework puts forward metrics to assess investments and measure alignment, and requires investors to set concrete targets at portfolio and asset level.

    The key recommendations revolve around governance and strategy, portfolio reference targets, strategic asset allocation, asset class alignment, policy advocacy, and stakeholder and market engagement.

    Investors are encouraged to publish information annually on how they consider their targets to be aligned to a pathway to achieve global net zero emissions by 2050, and the strategy and actions they have implemented across all asset classes, and performance against the objectives and targets over time.

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    Commission Delegated Regulation supplementing the Taxonomy Regulation

    Subject matter (E/S/G):  E

    Type: Taxonomy, financial reporting and non-financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    Entry into force: 29 December 2021.

    Application from 1 January 2022.

    Applicable to: 

    1.Financial market participants who offer financial products and market these as environmentally sustainable

    2.Organisations covered by the NFRD and SFDR

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The Net Zero Investment Framework provides recommended methodologies and actions which asset owners and asset managers should utilise to assess and undertake alignment of their portfolios towards net zero, in order to maximise their contribution to the decarbonisation of the real economy. The Framework puts forward metrics to assess investments and measure alignment, and requires investors to set concrete targets at portfolio and asset level.

    The key recommendations revolve around governance and strategy, portfolio reference targets, strategic asset allocation, asset class alignment, policy advocacy, and stakeholder and market engagement.

    Investors are encouraged to publish information annually on how they consider their targets to be aligned to a pathway to achieve global net zero emissions by 2050, and the strategy and actions they have implemented across all asset classes, and performance against the objectives and targets over time.

     

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    Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) Net Zero Investment Framework

    Subject matter (E/S/G):  E

    Type: Non-financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    Applicable to: Financial institutions such as pension funds and asset managers

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The Net Zero Investment Framework provides recommended methodologies and actions which asset owners and asset managers should utilise to assess and undertake alignment of their portfolios towards net zero, in order to maximise their contribution to the decarbonisation of the real economy. The Framework puts forward metrics to assess investments and measure alignment, and requires investors to set concrete targets at portfolio and asset level.

    The key recommendations revolve around governance and strategy, portfolio reference targets, strategic asset allocation, asset class alignment, policy advocacy, and stakeholder and market engagement.

    Investors are encouraged to publish information annually on how they consider their targets to be aligned to a pathway to achieve global net zero emissions by 2050, and the strategy and actions they have implemented across all asset classes, and performance against the objectives and targets over time.

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    Commission Delegated Regulations supplementing Benchmarks Regulation

    Subject matter (E/S/G):  E

    Type: financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    Entry into force: 23 December 2020

    Applicable to: 

    Benchmark administrators

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The three Delegated Acts required by the Low Carbon Benchmarks Regulation and adopted by the EC, set out (i) the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure requirements for benchmarks provided in accordance with the EU Benchmarks Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/1011), and (ii) sustainability criteria in order for a benchmark to qualify as an EU Climate Transition Benchmark or EU Paris-aligned Benchmark. Those are:

     
    Fair operating practices

    EU legislation:

    EU Conflict Minerals Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/821)

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Social policy, due diligence obligation

    Legal status: Entry into force: 8 June 2017; consolidated version on 19 November 2020.

    Application: 1 January 2021

    Applicable to: EU-based importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The regulation requires EU importers of the four minerals – tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold – to ensure they use only responsible and conflict-free sources.

    They need to comply with, and report on, supply chain due diligence obligations if the minerals originate (even potentially) from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

    Companies from outside the EU are also impacted as EU-companies will need to make sure they source from responsible smelters and refiners.

     
    Consumer issues

    Content Coming Soon

     
    Community involvement and development

    Content Coming Soon

     
    Social

    Banking Law 4261/2014 (art 80 par. 5, art. 84 par. 2 (h) and art. 86 par. 1 (a))

    Consolidated form of Banking Law 4261/2014 available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Social, Business and Human Rights Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: Credit Institutions

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Under the Banking Law, the Nominations Committee of credit institutions, which is primarily responsible for identifying candidates for the board of directors, shall set to achieve a target of adequate gender representation and also draft a policy on how this target will be met.

      In addition, each credit institution shall have in place a gender-neutral remuneration policy.

      In relation to variable remuneration, where this is performance-related and the individual performance is assessed, non-financial criteria (such as ESG factors) are also taken into account.
     
    Multiple categories

    EU legislation:

    EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (Directive 2014/95/EU) (NFRD)

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Non-financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    Entry into force: 5 December 2014.

    Application: 2018 (covering financial year 2017).

    [currently being reviewed]

    Applicable to: Financial and non-financial entities that qualify as large public interest entities with more than 500 employees (scope being re-considered)

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The NFRD imposes requirements on large public interest entities to include a non-financial statement in their annual report. The non-financial statement should cover, as a minimum, environmental, social and employee matters, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery matters.

    The EC is conducting a review of the NFRD with a view to making the disclosure guidelines mandatory, extending the scope of NFRD to a broader range of companies and organisations, requiring some form of assurance for climate disclosures and developing an EU-wide ESG reporting standard in the absence of a globally recognised one. A draft legislative proposal has been adopted by the Commission on 21 April 2021 (Proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)).

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    Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/2088) (SFDR)

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    Entry into force: 29 December 2019.

    Application:

    • Level 1 (high level and principles based requirements) apply from 10 March 2021.
    • Level 2 (regulatory technical standards) expected to apply from Q1 2022.
    Applicable to: Financial advisers and financial market participants

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The Disclosure Regulation sets out a number of entity and product level disclosures required to be made by financial advisers and financial market participants from 10 March 2021.

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    ESG-related Amendments to the MiFID Delegated Regulation and Delegated Directive, the AIFMD Delegated Regulation and the UCITS Implementing Directive.

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Financial reporting

    Legal status: 

    Published by the EC on 21 April 2021.

    Application: rules expected to start applying from around October 2022.

    Applicable to: Firms within the scope of MiFID, AIFMD and UCITS

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The proposed amendments set out obligations on investment funds, mutual funds, alternative investment funds (AIFs), investment firms, insurance firms and brokers, and reinsurance companies to provide clients with clear advice on ESG risks and opportunities attached to their investments.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Second Shareholders Rights Directive (SRD II) (Directive 2017/828)

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Corporate governance policy, Stakeholder relations and social licence to operate

    Legal status: Entry into force: 9 June 2017

    Applicable to: Companies that have their registered office in the EU and their shares listed on a regulated market in the EU.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    SRD II enhances the SRD regime by introducing rules that aim to counter an excessive focus on short-term profits and risk-taking in favour of a longer term, more sustainable model of corporate governance that considers the wider interests of shareholders and stakeholders.

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    EBA - ESG prudential supervisory review and evaluation process for credit institutions and investment firms

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Prudential measures

    Legal status: In progress

    Report by EBA due in June 2021 (credit institutions) and December 2021 (investment firms)

    Applicable to: Credit institutions and investment firms

     

    Summary and recent developments

    Article 98(8) of Directive 2013/36/EU (“CRD IV”) and Article 35 of Directive (EU) 2019/2034 (“IFD”) requires the EBA to develop a report providing uniform definitions of ESG risks, and appropriate qualitative and quantitative criteria for the assessment of the impact of ESG risks on the financial stability of institutions in the short, medium and long term. They also mandate the EBA to assess whether to include ESG risks in its annual prudential supervisory review and evaluation process undertaken by Member State prudential regulators (“SREP”).

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Non-financial reporting

    Legal status: A draft legislative proposal has been adopted by the Commission on 21 April 2021.

    Applicable to: Listed companies, with the exception of listed micro-enterprises.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    This Directive stems from the reviewal of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, which imposes requirements on large public interest entities to include a non-financial statement in their annual report. The information reported by the companies have however been considered as not sufficient. The proposal adopted in April 2021 will amend the existing reporting requirements of the NFRD, by extending the scope of the directive, requiring the audit of reported information, introducing more detailed reporting requirements, and requiring companies to digitally “tag” the reported information. The proposal also envisages the adoption of EU sustainability reporting standards, which would be developed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group, and adopted by October 2022.

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Capital Requirements Regulation 2013 (Regulation (EU) No 575/2013)

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Corporate governance policy and financial and non-financial disclosures

    Legal status: In force

    Applicable to: Large institutions with securities traded on a regulated market of any EU Member State

     

    Summary and recent developments

    This regulation includes under article 449a the requirement to disclose prudential information on environmental, social and governance risks, including transition and physical risk, addressed to large institutions with securities traded on a regulated market of any Member State. These disclosure requirements are applicable from June 2022 on an annual basis during the first year and biannually thereinafter.

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    EU Sustainable Finance: Amendment of Delegated Acts

    Subject matter (E/S/G): 

    Type: Corporate Governance

    Legal status: In force

    Applicable to: EU financial services firms

     

    Summary and recent developments

    The EU has introduced amendments to various Delegated Acts (see link) which will integrate sustainability issues into a number of key financial services Directives.

    Entities will be:

    • Required to integrate sustainability factors into their assessment of client suitability for certain financial products and when undertaking product approval of instruments.
    • Subject to new obligations to integrate sustainability risks into risk management and conflict procedures
    • Subject to new fiduciary duties, making sure that they encompass sustainability risks such as the impact of climate change.

     

    Law 4548/2018 on the reformation of the legislation on societes anonymes (Corporate Law 4548/2018 - art. 150)

    Consolidated form of Corporate Law 4548/2018 available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Non-financial Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: 

    Small, medium and large undertakings, defined in the law as undertakings that on the date of their annual balance, exceed two out of the three following criteria: (i) assets of a value of €350,000; (ii) turnover of €700,000; and (iii) average personnel: 10 persons, and provided these are not public interest entities. Groups of companies.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Article 150 of Corporate Law 4548/2018 provides that, with the exception of "very small companies" (i.e. those  that, on the date of their annual balance, do not exceed two out of the three following criteria: (i) assets of a value of €350,000; (ii) turnover of €700,000; and (iii) average personnel: 10 persons, and provided these are not public interest entities) the annual management report of the Board of Directors of the relevant company should include a non-financial statement containing information relating to, inter alia, environmental and employment matters, pertaining to the specific activity carried out by the company in question.

     

    Corporate Law 4548/2018 (art. 151)

    Consolidated form of Corporate Law 4548/2018 available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Non-financial Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: Large, public interest undertakings defined in the law as listed companies, credit institutions, insurance and reinsurance companies and other entities which are characterized as public interest entities by provision of sectoral law, which, on the date of their annual balance sheet, have an average of more than 500 employees during the relevant fiscal year.

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Article 151 of Corporate Law 4548/2018 provides that large undertakings, which are public interest entities (i.e. listed companies, credit institutions, insurance and reinsurance companies and other entities which are characterized as public interest entities by provision of sectoral law) and which, on the date of their annual balance sheet, have an average of more than 500 employees during the relevant fiscal year, are obliged to include in the annual management report of their Board of Directors a non-financial statement containing information relating to, inter alia, the impact of such companies  to environmental, social and employee matters, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery matters.

      The above non-financial statement should include the following:

      (i) a short description of the company's business model;

      (ii) a description of the policies implemented by the company in relation to the above matters, including due diligence procedures;

      (iii) the results of the above policies;

      (iv) the basis risks pertaining to the above matters and connected to the company's activity;

      (v) non-financial KPIs related to the specific industry.

      The above obligation applies also to the consolidated financial statements of public interest entities which are large group parent companies.

     

    Corporate Law 4548/2018 (art. 152) & Corporate Governance Law (art. 18 par. 3)

    Consolidated form of Corporate Law 4548/2018 available in non-governmental source

    Consolidated form of the Corporate Governance Law available in non-governmental source

    Subject matter: Non-financial, Social and Human Rights Type: Law
    Legal status: In force Applicable to: Listed undertakings

     

    Summary and recent developments

    • Listed companies are obliged to include in the annual management report of their Board of Directors a corporate governance statement.

      Such statement should, inter alia, include a description of the (i) the corporate governance code adopted by the company, (ii) any other corporate governance measures implemented by the company, (iii) the suitability policy of the members of the board of Directors, with particular reference to the diversity policy (which may be a part thereof or a separate policy) which the company implements with regard to its administrative, management and supervisory bodies, including but not limited to, in relation to the age, sex and educational and professional background of their members. The suitability policy of the members of the board of directors shall, inter alia, set a threshold for adequate gender representation, which may not be lower than 25%. Lastly, reference to the targets of the diversity policy, the manner of its implementation as well as the results thereof should be included in the above statement.
     
    Other
     

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