The European Union (EU) has revealed that a provisional agreement has been made to establish a European Single Access Point (ESAP) to place all European corporate disclosures, including sustainability reports, in a single online location.
Under the Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan, the EU is working to bring corporate disclosure documents from member states under a single reporting standard. Up to this point, each of the 27 countries has managed the financial disclosures of corporations within their borders. However, the EU has been working towards creating a standard or harmonised, reporting process.
In a statement released by the Council of the EU, Elisabeth Svantesson, Minister for Finance of Sweden, said “Today’s agreement comes as good news both to European businesses as well as investors worldwide. We are about to create a platform which will make it much easier to find and compare investment products and companies, including SMEs, which are sustainable and which have a bright financial future. This will help European businesses in becoming even more attractive for investors.”
Although the ESAP will not impose any new reporting standards, it gives a new home for the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) developed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group. The CSRD is being gradually implemented, with the first focus on publicly traded companies, before being expanded to all businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs. That expansion has been delayed as the EU works to bring clarity to the existing requirements.
Mirroring CSRD, ESAP will be introduced in phases, with each phase focusing on a different type of market and report. Phase 2 will include sustainability reporting including the CSRD, Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), and the EU Taxonomy Regulation. Phase 1 is expected to begin in the middle of 2027 with Phase 2 being implemented six months later. In the interim, CSRD will be reported at the national level.
These reports form part of the broader environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, movement and the CSRD could now lead the way on a user-friendly interface where investors and interested parties can easily find corporate climate disclosures.
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