Carl Rosen, executive director at the International Corporate Governance Network, told the Financial Times he would support a stewardship code setting out shareholder duties for all 27 member states.
However, he suggested a pan-European approach to governance legislation is likely to face resistance from the UK, where the Financial Reporting Council issued its new Stewardship Code last year.
“In the UK people say ‘we do not need a code, we already have one’, but I think it will be helpful to have a push from the EU,” Mr Rosen commented.
Lutgart Van den Berghe, chairman of the policy committee at the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations, voiced a similar opinion on the potential value of a pan-European code.
She said both company directors and shareholders should shoulder some of the blame for the financial crisis.
The European Commission is set to publish a new green paper on corporate governance next month.
According to reports, it will focus on the structure of company boards, shareholder engagement and the effectiveness of the current ‘comply or explain’ system.