This autumn, Futuribles began a series on the contribution of enterprises to the promotion of the common good. Among the articles in that series was a presentation of the way French enterprises have been involved, over the years, in public interest missions – as well as various accounts by actors in organizations working in that general direction. That series is continued in this issue with another stakeholder testimony (a piece by Marianne Eshet on the SNCF Foundation) and with this article by Philippe-Henri Dutheil laying out the legal regime that applies to social enterprises in three of France’s European neighbours.
By the time this issue appears, the French Senate should have come to a decision on the PACTE law (Plan of Action for the Growth and Transformation of Enterprises), which was passed this autumn by the National Assembly and makes provision, among other things, for facilitating and regulating the new legal category of entreprise à mission (English: “benefit company” or “benefit corporation”), which first appeared in 2015 and allows enterprises to include their commitment to the general interest in their memorandum and articles of association. Here Philippe-Henri Dutheil outlines the legal options that enterprises have in Belgium, Italy and Luxemburg to encourage and enable them to play their part in promoting the common good. Since these three countries have legal systems quite similar to the French, they may serve as a source of inspiration to French lawmakers to continue down this same path.