Genoa Centre for Law and Finance



European Union Sustainable Finance and Law

The need for a transition to a circular and sustainable economic system has never been so urgent. States, financial institutions, ONGs, companies, professionals and the civil society are together required to quickly find solutions to cope with the challenges posed by climate change and the current and future detrimental effects of human business activities on the environment.

Since the launch of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy in 2001, the EU Commission has committed to contributing to the promotion of sustainable development in key cross-sectoral projects, by intervening in all environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas.

Given the complexity of the financial system and of its policy and regulatory framework, there is no single lever to achieve these ambitions and ‘switch’ the financial system to sustainability. Improving the contribution of the financial system to sustainable and inclusive growth requires a comprehensive review, the identification of areas where changes are needed, and the development of specific recommendations in these areas.

Even though the promotion of sustainable finance has been subject to broad research from an economic point of view in the last years, the study of such a topic from a legal perspective is still weak. Moreover, the link between academic research and practices performed by businesses, professionals and society still lacks concrete solutions and channels of communication. However, the urgency and the financial efforts required in order to fulfil the targets set by the Paris Agreement make the reform of corporate and financial obligations, as well as the development of new specific strategic and technical sustainability-related skills, key factors which may determine the success of any economic and cultural initiative.

The aim of the project is to conduct research concerning the legal implications of the integration of sustainability in the financial sector, with particular focus on the reform of EU financial system.


Corporate Governance of Financial Institutions. Law, conduct and culture

Co-editors: Prof. Guido Ferrarini – Prof. Danny Busch – Prof. Gerard van Solinge

The goals of this project are specified in the paper “Understanding the Role of Corporate Governance in Financial Institutions: A Research Agenda” (ECGI Law Working Paper 247/2017) and will be further explained in a paper on “Governing Financial Institutions: The Role of Culture”. These two papers set the foundations for a collective work, which will explore the corporate governance of financial institutions from an interdisciplinary perspective, including financial regulation, corporate law, ethics and culture.

In connection with the project monthly meetings were held within the Workshop on “Culture and ethics in Finance” at the Department of Business Law at the University of Genoa and at Allen & Overy in Milan.

The outcome of this project is a volume published by Oxford University Press, collecting a number of papers written by European experts in the corporate governance field.

Link to Volume

Boards and Shareholders in European Listed Companies: Facts, Context and Post-Crisis Reforms

A Research Project sponsored by Emittenti Titoli S.p.A.

Co-editors: Prof. Guido Ferrarini – Prof. Massimo Belcredi

Corporate governance is still at the centre of the policy debate in the wake of the financial crisis. Policy proposals are becoming increasingly pervasive and, sometimes, intrusive; however, they are often based on a conventional wisdom and weak anecdotal evidence. The aim of this project is to analyze some pivotal topics in Corporate Governance, analysing both pre- and post-crisis periods from a law & economics perspective.

The outcome of this project is a volume published by Cambridge University Press, collecting a number of papers written by European experts in the corporate governance field. The volume have been presented at several international conferences in 2014.

Link to Volume

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