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2 NEWS 9.6.2022 MATTHEW VELLA MEPS and EU governments have finally agreed on a new law that will increase the presence of women on the boards of directors of listed private companies. e deal on gender parity on boards of publicly listed companies in the EU was clinched after a decade of being blocked in the Council. "is is a matter of equality. We must make use of all talent regardless of gen- der and show that the vision of women matters to us," Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli said during a press confer- ence this morning discussing the deal. "We know that when more women are added to boards, member states have advanced, whereas where there is no legislation, they are lagging. is is why legislation is needed to target member states where there are large discrepan- cies," Dalli said. "is has been a 10-year journey and shows the need for patience and per- sistence to reach results such as today. Currently, only 30.6% of non-executive board members on average across Eu- rope are women, and only 8.5% of wom- en are on executive boards," said Lead EP negotiator Evelyn Regner. Regner added that there has only been a 0.6% increase of women on boards since 2003. "What we have found is that when measures are put into place, there is success. We have a clear target, and we believe it has real teeth." Pressed by the media on what the pet- alites would be for companies that do not reach the target, Regner said it was up to the member state to decide what petalites would be put into place. e so-called "Women on Boards" Di- rective aims to introduce transparent recruitment procedures in companies so that at least 40% of non-executive di- rector posts or 33% of all director posts are occupied by the under-represented sex. e European Commission first pre- sented its proposal in 2012 and the European Parliament adopted its ne- gotiation position back in 2013. e file was blocked in the Council for almost a decade, until Employment and Social Affairs ministers finally agreed on a po- sition last March. Today, only 30.6% of board members in the EU's largest pub- licly listed companies are women, with significant differences among member states, from 45.3% in France to 8.5% in Cyprus. Companies will have to comply with this target by 30 June 2026, a position insisted upon by the European Parlia- ment, compared to the Council's pro- posal of 31 December 2027. In cases where candidates are equally qualified for a post, priority should go to the candidate of the under-represent- ed sex. MEPs insisted that merit must remain the key criterion in selection proce- dures, which should be transparent, as part of the agreement. Listed companies will be required to provide information to the competent authorities once a year about the gen- der representation on their boards and, if the objectives have not been met, how they plan to attain them. is informa- tion would be published on the com- pany's website in an easily accessible manner. SMEs with fewer than 250 employees are excluded from the scope of the di- rective. e proposal includes effective, dis- suasive and proportionate penalties for companies that fail to comply with open and transparent appointment procedures: apart from fines, compa- nies could have their selection of board directors annulled by a judicial body if they breach the Directive. "Parliament has been asking for a Di- rective for more women on boards for over a decade. e Council was finally ready to come to the table 10 years af- ter the Commission made its proposal," S&D rapporteur Evelyn Regner said. "It was high time to have binding measures. More women on boards make companies more resilient, more innovative and will help to change top- down structures in the workplace. One of the main achievements is transpar- ency. Selection processes have to be based on clear, predetermined criteria and with this agreement, only the best candidates will be selected, thereby im- proving the overall quality of boards." Co-rapporteur Lara Wolters (S&D) added: "All data show that gender equality at the top of companies is not achieved by sheer luck. We also know that more diversity in boardrooms con- tributes to better decision-making and results. is quota can be a push in the right direction for more equality and di- versity in companies." Women on boards: MEPs win 2026 date for mandatory female directors for listed companies The Malta Chamber and Creditinfo Malta Ltd sign Bronze Collaboration alliance MEPs Lara Wolters and Evelyn Regner THE Malta Chamber of Com- merce, Enterprise and Industry has signed a Bronze Collabora- tion agreement with Creditinfo Malta Ltd, aimed at enhancing efforts related to corporate gov- ernance. Creditinfo Malta will be paired with e Malta Chamber's Corporate Governance Commit- tee. "e aim of the committee is to develop e Malta Chamber's policy in key areas related to cor- porate governance, integrity and ethical business, all key princi- ples of e Malta Chamber," says Marisa Xuereb, President of e Malta Chamber. "We are honoured to be part- nering up with business champi- ons such as Creditinfo Malta Ltd who share the same principles as we do, especially in terms of cor- porate governance, integrity and ethical business," she continued. Creditinfo Malta Ltd CEO, Clif- ford Debono, said "We are looking forward to work hand-in-hand with e Malta Chamber of Com- merce to develop key areas and core principles in the promotion of good governance. Creditinfo Malta has been a long-standing supporter of e Malta Chamber and is delighted to be getting be- hind it as a Bronze Sponsor. Our support to the Chamber's Corpo- rate Governance Committee con- firms our belief in the importance of corporate good governance, as this is concerned with holding the balance between economic and social goals and between individ- ual and communal goals." e agreement was signed by President Marisa Xuereb and Deputy President, Chris Vassallo Cesareo on behalf of e Mal- ta Chamber and CEO Clifford Debono for Creditinfo Malta Ltd.

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