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“Administrative simplification should not be yet another electoral promise of the 2022 presidential election”

Tribune. Administrative hassles are as old as the state. In the XVIe century, Montaigne already complained that there were more laws in France than in the rest of the world. Tocqueville was doing “Administrative supervision” the common feature between the Ancien Régime and the Revolution. Pompidou complained about “Complex network of rules and principles”.

Today, according to the General Secretariat of the Government, the volume of consolidated law in force is 84,619 legislative articles and 233,048 regulatory articles. It is above all in permanent inflation, duly quantified and deplored by the Council of State in its regular reports on the subject. The multiplication of local authorities thickens the fog. No one is supposed to ignore the law, but today no one can understand its logic.

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The observation is well known, and successive governments have set up simplification commissions that are as well intentioned as they are powerless. The work of Sisyphus, noble but vain, so irresistible is the inertial force of the standard-producing machine, fed by zealous office managers and talkative legislators. The politico-media elites abandon with the same regularity as they denounce this tedious subject, which hardly disturbs them in a personal capacity: when you live in the nails, when you can count on your connections to sort out delicate situations, when you has the means to afford a chartered accountant or a specialist lawyer, the complexity is limited to irritating paperwork.

Social justice

This is not the case on the ground. Craftsmen in a nervous breakdown in the face of Cerfa forms, social benefit recipients renouncing their rights for lack of a complete file, entrepreneurs discouraged by the endless chain of decision-makers, association volunteers who have become professionals in applying for subsidies, farmers transformed into civil servants of the CAP, taxpayers lost in the maze of the tax code, parents of disabled people mortified by medical certificates to be renewed each year, divorced women hostages of their married name on their papers, families prevented from building a hut in their garden, rural mayors criminally responsible for an illegible urban planning code, voters lost in the territorial millefeuille, citizens submerged in acronyms and acronyms, all threaten to drop out, if they have not already renounced the rule of law by cobbling together a wobbly status in the interstices of a system gone mad.

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