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► Full Reference: M.-A. Frison-Roche, " Assessment of whistleblowing and the obligation of vigilance regarding international competitiveness", in M.A. Frison-Roche (ed.), Compliance Monumental Goals, series "Compliance & Regulation", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) et Bruylant, 2023, p.
► Article Summary: Taking up the legal tools of Compliance and confronting them with the concern that Law must have for the Competitiveness of companies, it is necessary that these legal instruments not harm it because Compliance Law, because of its immense ambitions, can only function through an alliance between political wills with great pretensions (save the planet) and the entities which are able to achieve these goals (the crucial economic operators : the political drawing on the compagnies" power, it would be contradictory for the legal instruments put in place by Law to harm the ability of companies to face global economic competition, or worse to favor international competitors acting under legal systems which do not integrate Compliance obligations.
From this principle, it is possible to assess these two legal techniques of whistleblowing and vigilance obligation: both consist in capturing Information, which gives them a strong uniqueness and fits them into the global competition for Information.
Taking the whistleblowing, its first beneficiary is the company itself since the firm discovers a weakness and can therefore remedy it. Therefore, beyond the principle of protection of the whistleblower by their access to the legal statute, for instance the one conceived by the French 2016 law known as "Sapin 2", it is questionable that all the incentives are not put in place so that the holder of such information transmits it to the manager. It is not the European solution, even after the European Directive of 2019, national legal systems continuing to require the absence of financial compensation, the "heroic figure of the whistleblower and the refusal of their remuneration depriving the company of Information and improvement. First to the manager, with external transmission taking place if the latter does nothing, the internal manager is thus encouraged to act and put an end to the dysfunction, which increases the competitiveness of the company.
But the French legislation has on the contrary developed the right incentive as to the person to whom the information is transmitted because by obliging to transmit first to the manager, the external transmission intervening if the internal management does nothing, the incentive is thus made to the internal manager to act and put an end to the dysfunction, this legal solution increasing the competitiveness of the company.
Even more, and even if it seems counter-intuitive, the obligation of vigilance increases the competitiveness of the obliged companies. Indeed, Law by obliging them to prevent and fight against violations of human rights and the environment has tacitly given them all the necessary powers to do so, notably the power to collect Information on third-party companies, including (and even above all) those which are not subject to transparency obligations. In this respect, companies, as far as they are personally responsible, hold supervisory power over others, a power which allows to globalize Compliance Law and which, in the process, increases the Companies' own power. Therefore, the obligation of vigilance is in many respects a boon for the companies which are subject to it. The resumption of the mechanism by the next European Directive, itself indifferent to the territory, will only strengthen this global power of vigilant companies over possibly foreign companies which become its passive subjects.
► read the presentations of the other Marie-Anne Frison-Roche's contributions in this book: