LE FUR, Anne-Valérie🕴️
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► Full Reference: A.-V. Le Fur, "Intérêt et raison d’être de l’entreprise : quelle articulation avec les buts monumentaux de la compliance ?" ("Interest and “raison d’être” of the company: how do they fit with the Compliance Monumental Goals?"), in M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), Les Buts Monumentaux de la Compliance, coll. "Régulations & Compliance", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, p. 55-67.
📕read a general presentation of the book, Les Buts Monumentaux de la Compliance, in which this article is published
► Summary of the article (done by the Author): Companies would have a soul. The legislator thinks so, since the French law called "loi Pacte" of 22 May 2019 obliges managers to act in the Corporate Interest and allows companies to formulate themselves a « raison d'être ». Compliance Law does the same, relying on companies to save the world from corruption, slavery, terrorism and global warming, thus achieving Monumental goals.
At first glance, the contours of Corporate Interest and « raison d’être » of the company are not far removed from the notion of Compliance Monumental Goals. This is not surprising, since the objective that presided over their introduction into the French Civil Code is the same as that underlying Compliance Law : to rethink the place of the company in the global Society, by affirming long-term values or concerns. This is a reason to use these corporate law concepts in the context of an X-ray of the concept of Monumental Goals.
However, a comparative approach is disappointing. The divergences between corporate notions and compliance lead to the conclusion that company law is not intended to impose anything other than a corporate public order. Notions that are more philosophical than legal, Corporate Interest and « raison d'être » are assigned functions that limit their scope. The imperative nature of corporate rules, and this is a consequence of the above, cannot be compared with that of compliance: uncertain, it is also relative when compared with the "violence" of compliance rules. The impact of the notions of Interest and « raison d'être » remains thus mainly internal to the company.
According to a second approach, it cannot be ruled out that Corporate Interest and « raison d'être » allow for a better understanding of higher and universal values by Company Law. Corporate Interest may incorporate Compliance Monumental Goals while the « raison d'être » may constitute a perspective for the realization of these goals.
The stakes are high : when the interest of the company, as a legal person and autonomous economic agent, joins the Monumental Goals, the means of achieving the latter are multiplied by internalizing them in all companies, not just the largest ones. However, despite all good intentions, a company is only governable if the compass does not become an elusive and indecisive vane; in other words, if legal certainty is respected. This is why a legal ordering of the concepts is necessary, which ultimately leads to a suggestion of their domain, content and scope.