George Turner ■ Germany moves forward on corporate transparency


The Bundesrat has today voted to recommend implementing a public register of the beneficial ownership of companies and trusts. 

Great news from Germany, as the country takes an important step forward towards corporate transparency.

The Bundesrat, the German Parliament’s upper chamber has just voted to recommend to the Bundestag that they implement a public register of beneficial ownership of companies and trusts.

The German government first announced its intention to implement a register in the wake of the Panama Papers, one year ago, however there were fears that such a register would not be available to the public.

The Government of Germany published a draft law in February which removed references to a public register after lobbying from the German Family Business Association.

The Bundesrat’s intervention comes in the form of a preliminary recommendation of how they would like to see the bill amended before it starts the formal legislative process.

The bill will now be formally considered by the Bundestag, the German Parliament’s Lower House, before it is then sent for final approval by the Bundesrat. Although the recommendation today by the Bundesrat is not binding, given the potential for the chamber to veto the legislation at a later date, it sends a powerful political signal.

The Tax Justice Network’s very own Markus Meinzer testified as an expert witness in a regional parliament when the matter was being considered there in early March.

Picture Credit:  Juriaan on Flickr 

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