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Antoine Frérot participates in the 3rd Sommet de l’Économie

The 3rd edition of the Sommet de l’Économie, organized by Challenges magazine, gathers politicians and business leaders in Paris around the theme "2017, the end of taboos". With Gérard Filoche, labor inspector and candidate for the Left in the presidential primary, Antoine Frérot, Veolia CEO, answered the question: "Are enterprises in the general interest or in the private interest?"

The Enterprise, an object in the general interest

Above all, Antoine Frérot was keen to point out that there is not just one Enterprise, but a variety of enterprises with diverse forms, functioning and purposes.
But they all have in common the fact that they are the main tool for creating wealth in our economies. That said, he asserts that, "an enterprise is an object in the general interest" since it contributes to the advancement of society as a whole. He stresses how society is affected when a company closes or collapses: the impact on a territory can be very significant. In this respect he called on French people to appreciate them more and defend them.

Broadening corporate governance to include all stakeholders

Not only is an enterprise essentially in the public interest, but it can only develop harmoniously if it is worthwhile for all the stakeholders in proportion to their commitment. They all contribute to creating the wealth produced by the enterprise, so each must be able to benefit from its fruits accordingly.

The participation of employee representatives on company boards of directors was introduced by the French government and as such was real progress. Antoine Frérot believes that enterprises would benefit from other representatives of its stakeholders sitting on their boards:

That is why he reaffirmed his "desire to be able to further expand company boards of directors to include representatives of customers, lenders and the territories in which the company is present. Such an expansion of the boards, the supreme governing body of an enterprise, would facilitate the task of the management in striking the best balance between the interests that run through the enterprise


Sommet de l’Économie (in French)
Minutes of the debateAre enterprises in the general interest or in the private interest?" (on the Challenges website) (in French)