Tribune. The “France 2030” plan put on the rails by Emmanuel Macron raises as many debates as questions about the future. Energy transition, reindustrialisation around new technologies and health constitute the three axes of a modernization plan over a period of five to ten years. The pandemic has brutally revealed the dangerous slope on which our country has embarked for more than thirty years. Deindustrialisation (in 2021, France has 10.1% of manufacturing production in its GDP, against 25% for Germany and 22% for the EU average), the dependence of the French economy on vis-à-vis the outside world, like the loss of state sovereignty, constitute the other side of the mirror of a globalization which should bring development to all. In this context, should we consider the “France 2030” plan as a break in the trend, as a new impetus which would restore the path to growth?
This initiative is compared to that which was carried out in the 1970s by Georges Pompidou. If an investment plan is based on the will of a Head of State, success also requires the flexible and efficient coordination of operations carried out by economic players. The projects carried out during the “thirty glorious years” (TGV, electrification of the territory, nuclear, aeronautics, telecommunications, etc.) must not obscure the institutional context, in which public authorities, private actors and banking institutions were linked around a model of unique investment in the world.
Investments were not just about planning; the latter was carefully integrated into an active collaboration between the public and private sectors. Of course, large national companies held an important place, but they were structured around a rule of specialty, which limited the scope of their activities. Contrary to what is often asserted, they did not compartmentalize the French productive apparatus. The diversified participation of the State in the economic system could be total, partial or concretized in the form of delegated management.
France was an expert in this area. Born under the Roman Empire, more precisely under the reign of the Emperor Justinian (482-565), who had brought together a set of laws in a secular work entitled the Digest, from which Napoleon drew the elements of the civil code in 1804, this system has been maintained and improved without ever being abandoned. Replaced since 2005 by public / private partnership contracts, it ensured the general interest without neglecting the share of profit intended for companies.
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