The Company Interest in Germany and Poland - A Comparative Legal Analysis in the Context of the European Sustainable Corporate Governance Initiative
The project aims to investigate to what extent company law can function as a vehicle for sustainable economic activity and focuses on a German-Polish legal comparison, which is required by both national and European developments to shape the economy and financial markets sustainably.
At the centre of the discussion on company law lies the question of what purposes companies should serve: starting from questioning a pure shareholder value approach, the interests of other stakeholders, such as employees, creditors and consumers, as well as climate and environmental protection interests are increasingly in the focus of legislators in different jurisdictions. The project explores these developments and thereby looks beyond the dichotomy of shareholder and stakeholder model, which seems limited as well as misleading from the perspective of corporate sustainability.
The question of the purpose of a company is addressed centrally in German and Polish company law, as well as in the majority of EU member states, by the legal concept of the interest of the company. This core concept of company law needs to be re-evaluated to effectively meet the current ecological, social and economic challenges that arise under the umbrella of sustainability in an international and intergenerational context.