How France can be reformed


Liberalisation of the labour market have rejected the French so far. Now the President of Macron wants to fight exactly in the unemployment rate. Radical unions have already called for protests.

May 2016: protests in Marseille, against the labour market reform of President Hollande

In the people he is popular, the new Prime Minister – the Approval ratings are a few weeks after he took office. Shortly after his appointment by the President of the Republic, he throws himself, as he calls it, in the “battle of more jobs”. However, a lot of money to Distribute, the government has not. The Maastricht criteria is to meet Paris and the social insurance companies are highly indebted. Around three million unemployed French people, and becoming less and less contributors to the deficit with each passing day grows.

But the Prime Minister has a Plan: In the public service, the employees should retire later and pension and social security will be completely reorganized. Of the largest Reform of the “Sécurité Sociale” since its founding in 1945, the experts speak. The moderate CFDT trade Union, the not-yet-50-year-old Prime Minister has on his side.

Failed “Globalisation Rungskur”

But a few weeks later, the Wind turns: the radical trade unions ignite in France, a General strike, the parts of the population to connect. Three excruciatingly long weeks of driving across the country, hardly any trains, not the Post. A regulated street cleaning and waste collection there is also the military from the barracks, in order to establish at least an emergency supply.

Who now thinks of President Emmanuel Macron and his government, but it is wrong. We write the year 1995 and there is Chaos in France prevails, as Prime Minister, Alain Juppé, will miss the country a “globalisation rungskur” and at the end of his Central pension plans prior to the Making of the road buckling.

No Chance against the Power of the street: In December 1995, the government pulls back Juppé pension reform

Emmanuel Macron is the turn of the Year 1995/96, shortly before his graduation and is a young professional beginners in the state service, as in the spring of 2006, a government, a Central reform project of kinking. The conservative Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in the spring of 2006, the Parliament adopted new labour legislation after it had come to the country-wide student protests.

Social dialogue is traditionally weak

The observers are agreed that Both reform projects failed only due to the lack of will for reform in the French, but also to communication errors of the government. “The French have great expectations of the state, that it meets its protective function, in social terms,” says the political scientist Julie Hamann of the German society for Foreign policy (DGAP) in Berlin. “Once reforms are announced, which can lead to a social breakdown or a precarization, very quickly, very big and very emotional fears awake.”

Escalation, to avoid any government: Violent protests in may 2016 in France

But the young President and his government have deep-explains-reaching reforms to the priority of their term of office. In the coming one and a half years, the government wants to put six comprehensive social reforms. Even against the resistance of radical trade unions, which have called for the next Monday to the first of the protest rallies. The political scientist Hamann, research about protest movements in France, still sees an opportunity for a reform agenda: “Generally speaking, the awareness prevails in France, even among the trade unions, that reforms are necessary. And also the will is there to carry out these reforms.” Crippling resistance from within its own ranks, as he blocked the socialist predecessor government, has not to fear Macron. After the coming election Sunday, the President of reform is likely to prepare a large majority in the Parliament.

Power shifts to the unions

Wanted to 2017 even be the President: Alain Juppé

Not only the change of mentality after more than 20 years of failed attempts at reform plays of the government in the hands. Also, shifts in power in the Union camp should simplify the negotiations. The radical CGT, over the decades, the strongest trade Union in France, has lost a lot of influence moderate representatives of the employees. This bearing is to an understanding with the government, in principle, ready. In addition, the President may refer to a “mandate for Reform”, as he announced in the election campaign, comprehensive cuts. Crucial to the success, so it looks Julie Hamann, is the communication. A open on the road swept power struggle should not even be the dominant image. “The key is how the government and as President of the Macron with the various social partners and also with the population to communicate.”

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe can learn for the upcoming negotiations with the trade unions from the experiences of his political father, Alain Juppé. Juppés initially tough stance against the demonstrators in the Protest-the autumn of 1995, ended in the Authority and subsequent power loss to the government.