Compliance: A Restated Definition

Guido De Clercq, Deputy Secretary General, GDF Suez, France

It is commonly accepted to state that ethics refers to shared values. It is in essence a values – based approach .. It appeals to one’s sense of ethics, of values such as e.g. the value of free and fair competition. As far as compliance is concerned, some define compliance as a system of programs by which we foster compliance with rules that are inspired by these values, i.e. with rules that are established with reference to underlying values. It is in essence a rules – based approach . If applied to the field of competition law: compliance with competition law is compliance with what the law requires with reference to the underlying value of free and fair competition. As such, antitrust laws are enacted in order to realize the value of free and fair competition. This value has a social, economic and political significance as it constitutes a fundamental value of a democracy . The same value of free and fair competition underpins the initiatives to combat bribery .

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France Compliance Energy February 2012 Vol. 5, No. 18, Winter 2012

Guido De Clercq

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Guido De Clercq (guido.declercq@gdfsuez.com) is Deputy Secretary General of the Group GDF SUEZ. Prior thereto, he held within the GDF SUEZ Group the following positions: GDF SUEZ Group General Counsel (2008 – 2011); Suez International General Counsel (2003-2008); Tractebel Deputy General Counsel (1997-2003); legal counsel of the Tractebel international energy division (1993-1996). 1988 - 1993, he was Head of the International Legal Department of the Alcatel Bell (Antwerp, Belgium) division of the Alcatel Telecom Group. 1983-1987, he practiced law in Brussels at the Coppens, Horsmans, Malherbe law firm. 1977 – 1983, he was an assistant professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Leuven, Belgium He holds degrees in philosophy (1974) and in law (1975) of the University of Leuven, Belgium. He graduated, as a Fulbright Fellow, with a M.A. in International Affairs from the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C. (1977). He obtained a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Leuven, Belgium (1988).

GDF Suez

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GDF SUEZ ( www.gdfsuez.com ) develops its three businesses (electricity, natural gas, energy and environmental services) around a model based on responsible growth to provide essential services to its customers every day. Its subsidiaries design innovative and effective solutions for individuals, communities and businesses to answer their needs in energy, water and waste management while fighting climate change and maximizing the use of resources. GDF SUEZ is today the world’s leading utility and independent power producer as well as Europe’s first gas company. Its unique profile is built on a profitable growth model based on key positions in Europe and North America and a strengthened presence in the fast-growing markets of Latin America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

France Compliance Energy February 2012 Vol. 5, No. 18, Winter 2012