In the wake of the introduction of the PACTE Act, the Rules for Growth Institute invites French and European legislators to move beyond ideological squabbles over the “corporate purpose” and to build on the most recent academic work in order to improve corporate governance and complete the construction of the Capital Markets Union.
The advent of a real Capital Markets Union is, as everyone will agree, essential in order to ensure the long-term financing of European companies, which are facing severe competition from American and Chinese companies. Completing this Union requires, in particular, that Member States provide greater protection for investors through corporate governance rules. However, the public authorities have recently both at the European and at the French level, taken measures that are at odds with this objective by undermining the rights of the most proactive shareholders, pretexting that such activists only have a short-term vision for the companies in which they invest.
French and European law lack in this area a strong foothold in academic research. Rather than making activist funds the scapegoats of the challenges that financial markets face, this study mobilises a conceptual framework guiding the formulation of proposals that deserve to contribute to the public debate on the subject of corporate governance in France, but also in Europe. It is by
no means intended to claim that this framework applies in all circumstances, nor does it describe in all places all the possible situations encountered by corporate officers and their shareholders in the day-to-day life of a company. The objective is, on the contrary, to pacify the terms of the debate on the role of activists in France through a few general proposals which, although not accepted on their own merits, deserve at the very least to be debated.