On 24 April 2017, the Corporate Governance Committee established by the German Federal Government (Regierungskommission Deutscher Corporate Governance Kodex) officially published various amendments to the German Corporate Governance Code. The purpose of the amendments is to enhance transparency as the basis for stakeholders to assess corporate governance and to comply with international best practices in the German code for listed companies, which were agreed upon on 7 February 2017 and have now come into force.
In addition, the Corporate Governance Committee amended the Preamble of the Code. The Preamble (which is outside the scope of companies' Declaration of Compliance with the Code) will now provide that institutional investors are expected to exercise their rights of ownership actively and responsibly, in accordance with transparent principles which also respect the concept of sustainability. The Corporate Governance Committee has therefore actively contributed to the debate, on a European as well as an international level, according to which institutional investors have particular responsibility in assessing how corporate governance is put into practice, similar to the UK concept of stewardship.