Industrial policy, innovation, public finance … It’s time to leave the fuzzy

After a legislative campaign in which the majority has little to say, leaving Nupes free to say anything, the time for clarification cannot be postponed. And there is a lot to do. First because the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, on important topics such as public finance, industrial policy and innovation, have remained completely vague. Only Bruno Le Maire delivered a clear and precise speech. For others, it is the huge ambiguity that dominates, including the issue of pensions. There is so much to do, as pandemics and war have made economic challenges more pressing.

I mentioned in these columns two weeks ago the necessary de-socialization of our country, especially to bring out welfare households and businesses where an “whatever the value” takes too long has sunk into them. . Three other challenges require prompt and clear policy. The first is about our energy supply. The Director General of the International Energy Agency warns us: the world could run out of gas this winter and face itself with rationing that could reach up to power outages in some industrial units. Cyclical factors such as the decline in Russia’s gas exports to Western countries and the post-deconfinement recovery of China’s economy explain this risk. But the problem is also structural, including in France. The decarbonization of our economy requires a huge increase in our clean electricity production. Therefore, we need, and very quickly, old working nuclear power stations, new EPR power stations and wind turbines, both at sea and on land. Interventionists bathe us day and night of the short-term market in opposition to the State-strategist. At one point, let the State show us the ability to plan, because it just has this word in its mouth!

The second challenge has to do with change. France has really become a start-up nation. There are start-ups everywhere, in all territories and in all sectors. Grabe! On the other hand, our country still does not have industrial “game changers” weighing in, not 5 billion euros in market capitalization, but 100, 200 or 500 billion. One of our most famous diplomats confirmed to me a few days ago that France’s loss of geopolitical influence was closely linked to our loss of technological influence in the sectors of the third industrial revolution: digital, artificial intelligence , decarbonized energies, biotech …

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Third challenge: give work to our countrymen who, for no valid reason, have chosen to rest rather than take part in the collective effort. French companies created another 70,000 net jobs in the first quarter. Over a year, employment increased by 3% (including 20% ​​in work study contracts – mainly apprenticeships). President Macron was surprised to explain to a job seeker that crossing the street was enough to find a job as a waiter. However, he was right at the time. So what can we say now, where the main concern of companies is recruitment … There are still over 3 million job seekers in our country. Some of them were stricken by life’s misfortunes, did not benefit from proper training, did not receive the education necessary for social integration. These deserve the attention of the people. Bringing them to work requires a proactive policy to be followed over time. But where is this policy?

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Another segment of job seekers (and it’s important to know which one) considers it better to benefit from unemployment insurance money than to work. All business leaders wishing to recruit have heard this argument. So the problem must exist … In a country where companies are massively recruiting and where the maintenance of social contracts requires more growth, it is entirely reasonable to restrict access to unemployment insurance . The coming days will tell us whether the new majority will choose a policy in the image of legislative and presidential election campaigns, soft and vague, or whether it is in the general interest that matters.


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Dominique Reynié, here on December 6, 2015, is a university professor in Sciences Po and Managing Director of the Foundation for Political Innovation.By Dominique Reynié, University Professor of Sciences Po and Managing Director of the Foundation for Political Innovation


Abnousse ShalmaniAbnousse Shalmani

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