About 1/3 of the shares of EU listed companies are held by non-residents. The European Commission has proposed a Directive to improve the rights of shareholders of issuers in member states. The Directive will help to assure that shareholders receive timely information regarding business to be transacted at shareholders' meetings, allow for easier exercise of voting rights by proxy and abolishing share blocking.
The Directive will require issuers to:
1. Provide at least 30 days' notice of shareholder meetings;
2. Provide relevant information regarding business to be transacted at the meeting;
3. Use record dates and abolish share blocking;
4. Allow non-resident shareholders to ask questions;
5. Allow the use of voting by proxy with no unnecessary restrictions on this right; and
6. Post voting results on the issuer's website.
Information regarding the Directive is available at: