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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