Pages:     | 1 || 3 | 4 |   ...   | 14 |

- tougher rules on issuing shares, changing the authorized capital, introduction of the rule of inadmissibility of increasing profit at the expense of the fixed capital;

- approximation of the legal status of a share and a debenture;

- focus on issues concerning PLCs reorganization, transformation of PLCs into other types of association and vice versa;

- tougher regulation of relationship between various legally independent but economically interfacing PLCs (for example, the notion of group in the French law).

The above short list of issues demonstrates that they are not less important for many transitional economies (including Russia) where the relevant transformation has reached a certain qualitative level.

The attempts to develop a certain standard of the XXI century corporation related to the ever increasing economic globalization and emergence of a new economy based on information and telecommunication technologies produce their direct effect on the issues under discussion (see Yudanov, 2001). Objectively, the driving forces behind the current corporate governance reform across the world are:

- internationalization and competition;

- quick growth of the number of shareholders and changes in their structure;

- emergence of new industries;

- development of financial markets and new technologies.* The large number of various national and international codes of corporate governance that came into being in the 90s reflects the trend and increasingly affect the conventional legislation (Hopt, 2000; Gregory, 2001).

At the same time the view that efficiency of running the XXI century corporation will increase if the principles of national entrepreneurship are taken into account is quite widespread. As E. Berglof and E.L. von Thadden observed, generalization is more often harmful than useful and all the international codes should acknowledge cross-national differences (Berglf, von Thadden, 1999).

Attempts to transplant institutions (imitation of import of institutions) based on political and ideological considerations and not taking into account national traditions and economic and legal peculiarities usually fail.

Within the EU this process is related, first of all, to the objectively remaining cross-national differences in forms and methods of corporations activities. The British model is traditionally linked with the market approach. The Rhine Capitalism model that envisages financing at the expense of strategic partners (banks, insurance companies) has not lost its importance for Germany.

Resources of oligarchic financial groups and leading financial-industrial corporations respectively dominate in Italy and in Spain. Quite often, the state plays the role of the most important creditor in France. In Scandinavia, the welfare state directly implies a strong state influence. From the point of view of corporations operations, one common element the lack of any significant financing through the stock market (i.e. through intermediaries) and the dominance by strategic partners acquires a principle importance. It should be noted that as far as the European export and import (and the scale of integration into the world economy) are concerned the two countries that are the main protagonists of the corporate capitalism within the EU the UK and the Netherlands hold the leading positions. (See Yudanov, 2001).

Policy Paper RECEP Alexander Radygin, Revold Entov UNIFICATION OF CORPORATE LEGISLATION:

WORLD TRENDS, EU LEGISLATION AND RUSSIAS OUTLOOK At the international level, the discussions have intensified about the wisdom of other countries, the EU Member States included, accepting a single (mostly American) model.

Within this discussion the attention is focused on general principles of activities of a modern large corporation the XXI century corporation that are often equaled with the American approach and attempts to impose the English-American business model on the rest of the world. In principle, the one size does not fit all approach can be accepted, but responsibility, accountability, fairness (legalism) and transparency are real universal standards for every regime of corporate governance (Fremond, Capaul, 2002).

More specific elements of various models are hardly transferable. As an example, E. Berglof and E.L. von Thadden take the 1993 EU Directive on Transparency concerning ownership and control, i.e. the areas where the continental EU countries are lacking an effective regulation. Its adoption had been prompted by the bitter criticism of the corporate governance by the proponents of the market approach which considers transparency of information on ownership and control systems to be inherently positive. However there is evidence that the Directive did not result in any tangible progress: most of the companies, even those in the EU countries, have found means of by-passing the limitations set by the EU (ECGN, 1998). A similar situation is emerging in Russia as regards the use of the English-American mechanism of protecting the rights of minority shareholders under the condition of growing corporate ownership concentration.

At the same time, the new economic and technological realities have presented big EU corporations with the issue of supplementing the finance provided by the strategic partners with resources of the national and international capital markets. The policy of inflating corporate property is pursued by Siemens of Germany, Alkatel and Danon of France, Telephonica of Spain, and others. Nevertheless, serious obstacles to borrowing the American approach remain. They are:

- dogmatic orientation to the share growth (companys activities in the interests of the shareholders only) is checked in the EU countries by the dominating principle of social responsibility of the companies;

- comparative predominance of long-term strategies and motivations in European companies activities is also a factor of the cautious attitude towards shareholder dictatorship that might require a maximum efficiency in the short term to secure market value growth;

- high-level transparency of the corporation typical of the corporate capitalism is not always characteristic of the principles of the European business culture;

- existing doubts about stability of the new economy and some European analysts belief that the high level of development of the American stock market is only transitory (Yudanov, 2001, p.70).

Approaches to reforming the company law also differ significantly and recommendations bear the marks of the social status of their authors (Hopt, 2000):

- reform of the Board of Directors;

- more active role played by private and institutional investors (as a reaction to the globalization of markets and modern technologies);

- development of laws and rules governing activities of company groups (first of all, by judges and regulators in some countries of the continental Europe);

The Economist (2000, May 20, pp. 31-32) writes that although the total number of shareholders in the continental Europe remains insignificant they gradually outnumber civil servants in France, union members in Germany and unemployed in Italy.

Policy Paper RECEP Alexander Radygin, Revold Entov UNIFICATION OF CORPORATE LEGISLATION:

WORLD TRENDS, EU LEGISLATION AND RUSSIAS OUTLOOK - cooperation with the hired labour at the shop-floor and the Board of Directors levels;

- protection of the rights of shareholders and investors as an absolute priority in the interests of economic growth and transformations; priority of the market over inflexible national laws and doctrines (representatives of the modern economics).

When studying the processes of unification of the law at the regional and international levels the term internationalization of the law is sometimes used to denote the process. In legal literature and in the texts of international agreements the process of establishing a uniform legal regulation or the results of this process are usually named approximation, harmonization, or coordination of the law.

In 1999, OECD made an attempt to establish certain uniform principles of corporate government as a recommended set of best practice standards (OECD, 1999).

Nevertheless, the EU experience gives the fullest (world-wise) understanding of the process taking place at the level of one of the best developed regions of the world. Importantly, the decisions by the EU increasingly affect the civil and commercial law of the Member States and, if the candidate countries are taken into account, of the entire European region.

Researches point to the fact that the limits of the EU legislation affecting national corporate rules are sometimes hard to identify (Dine, 1998). This happens because most of the changes brought about by the EU acquire the status of legislation through standard law-making procedures. Many people do not understand that a huge number of changes in the legislation come about due to the Directives i.e. they have been included into the list of measures aimed to reform the corporate legislation as the EU Member States bear responsibility for implementing the Directives.

In 2001, the issue of taking into account the EU uniform rules when improving the Russian model of corporate governance acquired a special importance.6 It is well-known that the necessity of establishing a free trade area between the EU and Russia (including creation of conditions for realization of freedom of establishment and movement of capital) was stressed by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed in Corfu on June 24, 1994 that came into force on December 1, 1997. The EU Collective Strategy on Russia (June 3-4, 1999) has as its objective integration of Russia into the common European economic and social space. The strategy envisages establishing in future a free trade zone between Russia and the EU and, as the legislations and standards approximate gradually, a single economic space.

In May 2001, at the Russia-EU summit an idea was put forward of advisability of establishing a Common European Economic Area. To some extent, the 2010 Strategic Programme aims to adapt the European institutions (criteria) to the Russian conditions which implies, in particular, actions in such areas as effective work of the competition mechanism, legislation stability, property protection, effective bankruptcy procedures, financial market stability, adequate state and administrative institutions.

When making an assessment of the outlook for approximation of the Russian and European standards on corporate governance it is necessary to take into consideration both the EU experience as such and the specificity of development of company law (corporate governance models) in the transitional economies.

For more detail see: Borko, 2001; Gorsky, 1998; Zsurkin, Kudrov, 1996; Leshukov, 1998; , 2002, pp.18-20;

Fonten, 1994; Shmelev, 2002.

Policy Paper RECEP Alexander Radygin, Revold Entov UNIFICATION OF CORPORATE LEGISLATION:

WORLD TRENDS, EU LEGISLATION AND RUSSIAS OUTLOOK 1.2. Some problems with the traditional models To a significant extent the mechanism of corporate government define the peculiar characteristics of economic and legal structure within which shareholders can realize their property rights and the way corporate ownership is distributed. At the same time, lack or relatively limited presence of one type of mechanisms (related, for example to the market-based change of corporate control) can be offset by the presence of others (such as ownership of large blocks of shares, family control, membership in a well-established group or a special role played by the head bank). Intensification of competition on the markets of goods, capital and labour invariably emerged as the necessary prerequisite for improving efficiency of corporate control.

It appears that each of the known types of corporate governance has its strong and week sides.

Citing the experience of the 50-s - 70-s (when Japan and Germany demonstrated high rates of economic growth) many authors stress the importance of corporate governance that relies on the largest banks. Recently, however, it has been increasingly often noted that this type of corporate governance can provide an excessively strong protection of ineffective companies and, what is more important, is characterized by a somewhat stronger force of inertia and by less susceptibility to radical technical and economic innovations. At the same time, more attention is paid to the role played by flexible market mechanisms and their disciplinary functions. Many of the conclusions of this type are the result of application of interesting theoretical models and empiric studies (see, for example, Morck, Nakamura 1999).

At the same time, it is hardly wise to overestimate the role of differences between the above types of corporate governance. S. Kaplan, who wrote a number of papers on differences in corporate governance between various countries, came to the following conclusions. Normally, the possibility of removing top managers from office increases with considerable deterioration of the corporations positions. Of particular interest are the results of the following calculations: the values of foregone earnings elasticity of top managers turnover and drops in market share prices (for the relevant corporations in all the three countries) elasticity are apparently values of the same order (Kaplan, 1997). In other words, judging by the above evaluations the effects produced by different mechanisms of corporate governance and manifested in the intensity of the turnover of top managers happen to be rather similar.

Pages:     | 1 || 3 | 4 |   ...   | 14 |

2011 www.dissers.ru -

, .
, , , , 1-2 .