'EuroVote' offers to all European individual investors the possibility to send proxies to the Euroshareholders member organisation which will have a representative attending and voting at the relevant AGM. For that purpose, a specific web-based platform has been developed. Our website provides a list of companies selected for the respective EuroVote AGMs season, as well as links to the necessary proxy forms in English, straight-forward instructions on how to pass the proxy and additional information on the ballots to be given to the shareholder's representative. Shareholders can easily pass their proxies to the shareholder association based in the country where the General Meeting takes place. The member organisations receiving the proxies attend the AGM via their representatives and vote the shares on behalf of all shareholders who transferred their proxies to them.
As a consequence, the platform increases individual shareholders' active participation in the General Meetings of companies, especially cross border. We provide this service to individual investors (preferably members of our member organisations) free of charge!
The 2008 financial crisis has revealed corporate governance issues and insufficient shareholder engagement. One identified reason is obstacles individual investors face to exercise their voting rights, especially cross-border, despite the adoption of the European Shareholders rights directive of 2007.
Euroshareholders, the European federation grouping 32 national European associations and about 500 000 European individual shareholders decided to take action:
- Euroshareholders launches its 2011 EuroVote web-based cross-border proxy voting platform. Individual European shareholders will be able to give a proxy to our national member associations who will represent them at more than 50 General Meetings of the major issuers throughout Europe. EuroVote aims at making it as easy as possible for any shareholder wanting to exercise his voting rights at general Meetings held in another EU country.
- Euroshareholders is also happy to release its first European-wide voting guidelines that will direct the vote of Euroshareholders members holding the proxy votes of individual investors at the General Meetings of the major European listed companies.
EUROVOTE demonstrates that individual shareholders are eager to exercise their rights and take their responsibilities as owners of listed companies, provided that the process is not too cumbersome and costly, and that they can benefit from competent and independent voting guidelines.
Euroshareholders is the organisation of European shareholders associations. It was founded in 1992. At present Euroshareholders gathers 33 national shareholders associations all over Europe.
The main objectives of Euroshareholders are:
- to promote scientific research in capital markets and shareholder value;
- to support the principles of corporate governance;
- to represent and protect private investors' interests, particularly investors in equities and other listed securities;
- to support the EU-wide harmonisation of issues such as minority shareholders protection, capital markets transparency and cross-border proxy voting.