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Ternovaya O.A. Public Companies in the European Union and Public Associations in Russia

Published in journal "Journal of Foreign Legislation and Comparative Law", 2015-3 , pages 428-433.

Resume: This article is dedicated to the analysis of the specifics of legal regulation governing the activities conducted by the public companies in the European Union countries and public associations in Russia. The paper reveals the concept “company” used in the European Union countries, as well as draws the distinction between public and private companies. The author reviewed legal status of the public companies in the common law jurisdictions of the European Union (the Great Britain, Ireland) and the one of the public joint stock companies in the continental system of law (France, Switzerland). The European Union Directives are shown as having influence on the establishment of the national corporate legislation, for instance in the Great Britain, Ireland, France, Finland. The important aspect of this research is to review the relation between imperative and contractual approaches to the management of the companies, whose shares are quoted on the stock exchange. In the common law states all the commercial corporations are divided into public and private, in contrast, the continental corporate law applies such classification only to the joint stock companies. In case where the entity possesses the “public joint stock company” legal status, it is subject to stricter requirements. The public joint stock company shares are quoted on the stock exchange and their members are in need of a higher rights protection. This work considers the grounds for creating the new Russian commercial societies classification: public and non-public. The main idea of the introduction of such division into the Russian Civil Code is that the non-public associations shall be granted significant freedom of the internal organization, which can be set not only by the articles of association, but by the corporate contract. Legislation governing the activities of the Russian public associations is similar to the experience of the majority of the European Union countries and should be more imperative as compared to the legislation governing the non-public society’s activities.

Keywords: comparative corporate law, European Union, classification of legal entities, public companies, private companies, public associations, non-public societies, joint stock companies, limited liability entities, Corporate Governance Code.

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