The Pact Act or the renewal of businesses

07/02/2019 in "Society"
It is certainly one of the biggest files of the Government at the beginning of the year. Sprawling text of 73 articles, the PACTE Act is this acronym literally meaning Action Plan for the Growth and Transformation of Enterprises. A vast project with the ambition of boosting the tricolor economy considerably by reforming some of the usual methods for companies, especially medium-sized companies (Intermediate Size Companies). His recent rejection by the Senate, as to the redefinition of the role of the company, does not stop flowing in ink. Explanation in several points of a law that struggles to put everyone in agreement.

The first time we talked about the Pact Act was in October 2017. On October 23, precisely. In the months following the establishment of the now famous Action Plan for Growth and Transformation of Enterprises , the project has gone through several phases of consultation, has passed into the Council of Ministers, has been the subject of a scrutiny by Parliament and then finally voted by the National Assembly (photo) at first reading on 9 October.

A long-term journey for this ambitious project whose objective is a structural change in the mode of operation of French companies, including the ETI (Intermediate Size Companies). In other words, the Pact Act aims to provide businesses with the means to innovate but also to transform and grow as well as create jobs.

If the project is extraordinarily dense with its 73 articles , it is important to highlight some points more than others. Thus, among the flagship measures of the Pact Act, the openness to the privatization of companies such as the French Games (FDJ) or the ADP group (Aéroports de Paris) is particularly noteworthy .

On the other hand, it will also be question of suppressing, or at least relaxing, various formalities incumbent on companies, in particular SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). Thus, it will now be much easier to create a company but also to transmit or liquidate , in case of bankruptcy for example.

Among the other proposals observed by the Pact Act, there are also more employees on the boards of directors (two salaried directors from eight directors); a retirement savings that will be more accessible (once retired, the saver will have the opportunity to withdraw his money at one time, which is not really the case today) or an optional certification for crypto -monnaies.

These are all flagship measures to initiate a decisive shift in the operation of French companies.

Differences of opinion

If the Pact Act has its defenders, it also has its detractors. Among those who support the project, we find of course Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, and certainly the main voice of the Pact Act. For the latter, this text has several advantages allowing the Government to get out of the impasse in which it is currently in relation to the crisis of Yellow Vests, that support a majority of French.

Thus, as he made known in December during his hearing by the Senate Special Committee, the Pact Act, and particularly the point on retirement savings, would remove the blockages and resolve a situation paralyzing the Hexagon for several weeks already.

If the Minister of Economy is constantly defending his project, some are more skeptical. This is particularly the case of Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, who did not fail to react a few weeks ago to the adoption of the Pact Act in first reading, in the National Assembly. According to the latter, while it is clear that the role of business has expanded in recent years, it is however inappropriate to include it in the Civil Code.

The Pact Act promises to be a long debate that is just beginning.

Because the article contained in the Pact Act, which was to lead to a redefinition of the role of the company, was rejected by the Senate on the night of February 6 to 7. Among the politicians to have expressed skepticism, we find in particular a large part of the group of Republicans, who considered that the amendment suggested by the Pact Act could create legal instability for companies, thus contradicting the primary objective of the draft law which is mainly to simplify their daily lives and to relax several constraints. AT

when will the Pact Act still change the lives of businesses? In any case, we have not finished hearing about it in the coming weeks.

Antoine Le Fur

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