Thirteen representatives of NGOs and the sector of the social and solidarity economy denounce, in a tribune to the "World", the confusion that would create the appearance of a legal status of additional company.

Posted today at 15:30 Time to Reading 3 min.

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"Some commercial companies have not expected a modification of the law, nor the creation of a new statute to integrate a social or societal mission alongside their economic mission. "
"Some commercial companies have not expected a modification of the law, nor the creation of a new statute to integrate a social or societal mission alongside their economic mission. »Charles Platiau / REUTERS

tribune. The Bill Pact (Action Plan for the Growth and Transformation of Enterprises) examined March 13 to 15 at second reading in the National Assembly after its adoption in first reading, in October 2018, provides in Article 61 possibility of creating a new legal status (and not a new legal form) called "company with a mission". For its promoters, this would be the most advanced level to bring social and environmental objectives into the social object of voluntary companies. This eventuality is a false good idea for several reasons.

First, the French context is not the Anglo-Saxon context that inspired the promoters of the idea; there is no obligation of "fiduciary responsibility" in France: no executive has ever been prosecuted for having devoted part of the company's resources to increasing wages and improving working conditions or patronage …

useless

A new legal status of society therefore appears to be useless, especially since, as the government impact study pointed out, there are already many forms and legal status of companies in France. Some commercial companies have not waited for a modification of the law, nor the creation of a new status to integrate a social or societal mission with their economic mission, and nothing prevents these companies from being labeled. by a private organization.

Secondly, the creation of a fourth way alongside private capital companies, public enterprises and social and solidarity economy enterprises, but which would not have the same statutory and above all legal obligations within the meaning of July 31, 2014, called "Hamon law", will generate a confusion of sorts, between the actors of the lucrative sector "with mission" and those of the nonprofit sector, without control of the public authorities.

Read also Find our forums on "the social purpose of the company"

Third, the risk of fairwashing Major groups were also highlighted, as they could set up subsidiaries dedicated to social actions and make them showcases to be socially responsible, or even to benefit from public funding.

Fourth, the bill is based on the idea of ​​"raison d'être", a notion that has no legal definition and is supposed to characterize companies with a mission. According to a recent Boston Consulting Group study, the raison d'être is perceived by corporate communication managers as essentially a "reputation lever". Only one-third of them believe that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a building block of the raison d'être.

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