Fluvius and its shareholders work in a highly regulated environment: the tasks of the Fluvius economic group 1 flow firstly from the public interest mandates that the shareholders have assigned to it, and secondly from the powers and obligations conferred by legislative decrees of the Flemish government. And, of course, the Fluvius economic group is also subject to Federal and European regulations. Although the Ethical Charter is not intended to provide a complete summary of these laws and regulations, we will nevertheless highlight a few of them.
The Energy Decree imposes a duty of non-discrimination, a duty of responsibility and a duty of professional secrecy on the personnel and management of the Fluvius economic group. There is also a rule on conflicts of interest for directors of the operating company, Fluvius System Operator, and upper limits are imposed on the annual remuneration of the managing director, the CEO and the members of the management committee.
The group is also subject to a number of specific legal obligations. The various intermunicipal associations (OVs) that are shareholders of Fluvius must comply with the Local Authorities Decree. This, too, contains a rule covering conflicts of interests for directors. Our contacts with suppliers and subcontractors are almost always subject to the legislation on government contracts. This legislation contains specific provisions on the holding of multiple offices in order to prevent and punish corruption.
We also draw your attention to the EU Directive on the protection of whistleblowers (EU/2019/1937) of 23 October 2019, also known as the Whistleblower Directive. Under the Directive, whistleblowers are protected against dismissal, demotion, intimidation, the withholding of promotion, discrimination, coercion, etc. Persons who help whistleblowers, such as colleagues and family members, are also protected.
The Directive also contains a list of support measures introduced for whistleblowers, such as the provision of information and advice on legal remedies against reprisals and access to legal aid. Businesses and government bodies are required to set up internal reporting channels: firms with more than 50 employees must have mandatory reporting channels for handing reports from their employees or officials, directors, trainees, etc.