Every company is affected by the reporting requirement: in Germany, one million limited liability companies (GmbHs) alone have to disclose information on ownership to the transparency register. In its ruling of November 2022, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) strengthened data protection for business owners. The general public must no longer have unlimited access to sensitive data of beneficial owners. According to the legal opinion obtained by the Foundation for Family Businesses and Politics, access should in future be subject to stricter requirements. “EU member states must not grant access without a legitimate interest being demonstrated,” says the legal opinion prepared by the legal scholars Prof. Ralf P. Schenke and Prof. Christoph Teichmann (both from the University of Würzburg). Conditions should be specified for this, similar to those for accessing the land register.
The importance of family businesses in Germany and the special conditions they need to be successful are now the subject of broad academic research and a great deal of attention in the media, society and politics. This is due in no small part to the Foundation for Family Businesses, which was founded 20 years ago to promote academic research, and the Foundation for Family Businesses and Politics, which joined the original foundation in 2021.
Europe is losing economic substance. In an open letter to the EU Commission and the European Parliament, our Foundation makes suggestions on how to stop the flood of regulation.
The European Commission’s proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) published in April 2021 and currently being discussed by the Parliament and the Council, seeks to take companies’ sustainability reporting to the next level.
Germany has suffered a major reform backlog over the past decade. Although there have been some attempts to improve the situation, the country has fallen behind in terms of competitiveness.