Cadre institutionnel


Institutions - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Société, modes de vie

The Environmental Community: Who Can Advance the Environmental Cause in France?

With this issue 435 of Futuribles, we begin a new series of articles on energy questions and climate change — an enormous subject, the systemic character of which became clear to us when the French Minister of Ecological Transition Nicolas Hulot resigned in late August 2018. Hulot deplored the lack of greater — political and popular — support to enable real influence to be exerted on government policy and an ambitious project of ecological transition to be promoted in the face of the challenges posed by climate change. In this first instalment, we concern ourselves with the question of the actors involved in environmental questions: who are they, what weight do they have, and what are their actual motivations?

Daniel Boy, a specialist in public opinion and political ecology in France, offers a broad conspectus of environmental actors, from the supranational to the local level and ordinary French citizens, taking in national public bodies, elected or consultative, on the way. He shows, for example, what their positions are on ecological questions, how that has evolved, and how it might put them in a position to act (or not) in this area.

Note de veille

Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques - Société, modes de vie

Prédire l’avenir avec des algorithmes ?

Si tout le monde a entendu parler du système de crédit social en Chine, qui vise à récompenser ou punir les citoyens en fonction de leur comportement, les algorithmes se développent dans d’autres domaines et pays avec une visée plus prédictive. Ce type d’outil implique systématiquement d’être alimenté par une large base de données. Au Royaume-Uni, 140 collectivités locales sur les 408 que compte le pays ont investi dans des systèmes de prédiction des problèmes de comportement ...

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Chronique européenne

Géopolitique - Institutions

Institutional Prospects for the European Union

After the May 2019 elections, the European Parliament has begun a new term of office and a number of European institutions have changed leader or leadership team (the Central Bank, the Commission, the Parliament etc.). Will this institutional renewal enable the European Union to improve its operation? This is a hope that might be harboured, even if, as this column reminds us, it is very difficult to make a structure of this size work well and to unite the visions and aspirations of 28 member states, even in purely institutional terms. Nevertheless, the increased responsibilities granted to the European Parliament, the continued advance toward more democratic working and the way the institutions have withstood the various crises of recent decades are encouraging signs that the new European Commission will have to strive to reinforce.


Économie, emploi - Institutions - Société, modes de vie

À la recherche de l’Europe sociale

À la recherche de l’Europe sociale

Encore davantage que le prétendu « déficit démocratique », le déficit social de la construction européenne a fait l’objet de nombreux ouvrages, souvent partisans, qui ont trouvé commode de dénoncer l’« Europe ultralibérale », comme Georges Marchais avait dénoncé « l’Europe du grand capital », parce qu’ils étaient en fait hostiles à la construction européenne. Pourtant, les europhobes britanniques font la critique inverse, en lui reprochant son prétendu excès de dirigisme. Dans un cas comme dans l’autre, l’important est de ...

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Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Strategic Foresight in the European Parliament

Following the May 2019 elections, the European Parliament begins a new term of office and a number of European institutions will subsequently see a change of leadership (Central Bank, Commission, Council, Parliament etc.). This may be the opportunity for the European Union to acquire new political momentum. If that is the case, will European policies match up to the major future challenges that are looming? More generally, how are long-term issues factored in by the European institutions?

Drawing on her experience, Danièle Réchard-Spence, who heads the unit charged with identifying and analysing the major current developmental trends for the European Parliament, shows us what strategic foresight consists in within that institution and how it feeds into the parliament’s work. Though it is never easy to assess the true influence of foresight studies on parliamentary decisions and action, it remains very instructive to understand how those studies are produced and disseminated among our representatives in the European Parliament, which is what this article by Danièle Réchard-Spence seeks to do.


Institutions - Société, modes de vie

D’une révolution à l’autre. Mémoires

D’une révolution à l’autre. Mémoires

Il faut lire le livre de Philippe Herzog dont j’ai tardé à rendre compte, notamment parce qu’il me semblait particulièrement pertinent d’en évoquer les principaux enseignements à l’approche des prochaines élections européennes. Cet ouvrage, sous-titré « Mémoires », est en effet plus qu’une autobiographie, un récit très vivant de 50 ans d’histoire politique, économique et sociale. C’est surtout un livre dans lequel l’auteur tire de cette période et de son expérience de très utiles ...

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Analyse prospective

Géopolitique - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

L’Iran : dynamiques d’une puissance en transition

Depuis très longtemps, l’Iran est une puissance de première importance sur la scène internationale. La centralité stratégique de ce pays repose sur une histoire et une géographie. Quarante ans après la révolution islamique, l’Iran demeure incontournable mais inclassable. Doté de grandes ressources en hydrocarbures, le pays souffre d’une série de vulnérabilités économiques, liées à la fois aux limites structurelles de son modèle de développement, à la rigidité de son système politique et à son isolement persistant sur ...

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Économie, emploi - Institutions - Population

Pension Reform: Issues and Hazards. Don’t Throw Out the Supplementary Schemes with the Bismarckian Bathwater

For a very long time now the future of pensions has posed a problem in France, mainly on account of the trend toward an imbalance between the number of workers contributing to the scheme and the number of inactive seniors. Many parametric reforms have already been adopted, though these have proved notoriously inadequate when it comes to providing sustainable remedies for pension funding problems. French President Emmanuel Macron has, therefore, declared his intention to carry out structural reform aimed at replacing the basic and supplementary schemes – there is a total of 42 of these – with a single points-based system in which the value of the points would be the main adjustment variable.

The High Commission for Pension Reform (HCRR) is tasked with implementing this reform which has been the object of fierce debate. That fact is attested here in the argument presented by Jean-Claude Angoulvant, who sees it as having two major shortcomings. The first is the desire to unify all schemes, overlooking the disparities between them and lumping together independent and categorial supplementary schemes, which he regards as being quite well managed. The second failing is the decision to have the system run by the state, which is a very poor long-term manager, rather than by the social partners and, in so doing, shifting the pension system from an insurance-based to a ‘Beveridgian’ logic. In keeping with our usual understanding of our Forum feature, this article expresses a viewpoint intended to stimulate our readers’ thinking on a reform project that is still under discussion.


Économie, emploi - Institutions - Population

Pensions: Full Steam Ahead to the Unified Scheme!

Following on from the opening Forum article in this issue by Jean-Claude Angoulvant on the pension reforms that are currently in the pipeline, Jacques Bichot, whose thoughts on this subject we have published regularly, calls for the shift to a unified scheme to be speeded up in France. A reform of this scope actually has to be undertaken as early as possible in a presidential term. But in order that the future unified pension scheme can operate simply, without obviating the need to take account of the specifics of different occupations and careers, he suggests that use be made of the (non-state) pension funds. These are, in his view, the appropriate instruments for developing the tailor-made options which make it possible to respond to these particularities and to support the process of unifying the various pension schemes.

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique - Institutions

European Union: Update

This May-June issue of Futuribles comes out a few weeks before the European elections that will lead to a renewal of the EU parliament and the arrival of new representatives of the European citizenry, who should be sitting until 2024. Preparations for these elections are taking place in a particular context: foot-dragging around the details of Brexit, rising populism, migratory pressures, a tense international context etc. And, like previous elections, there is a danger they will serve as a pretext for the settling of national quarrels rather than the discussion of shared European political issues.

This is a great pity since, as Jean-François Drevet stresses in this 100th European column, the issues are very real and there are still reasons to believe in Europe. This is the case at the institutional level where, despite some cases of deadlock, the Union has shown unexpected juridical resilience with respect to the test of Brexit; it is also the case in terms of sovereignty, where some policies (for example, around tax) have revealed their limitations when restricted to the national level.

The sphere of foreign policy remains, where there are more potential stumbling blocks and the lack of strategic vision and unity of action are still all too evident. But, were there to be a genuine effort to educate the public on the part of the pro-European parties, showing the citizens what the (current and potential) strength of the Union consists in, then the glimmer of a possibility of resolving a number of their problems could emerge through a change of the level at which political power is exercised.

Note de veille

Géopolitique - Institutions

La Macédoine à un tournant

En votant les amendements permettant de changer la Constitution macédonienne, le 11 janvier 2019, le Parlement de Skopje a fait un grand pas pour solder la dispute qui durait depuis 28 ans avec le voisin grec. Mais le chemin pour rejoindre l’Union européenne (UE) s’annonce encore long. La Macédoine est devenue la « Macédoine du Nord » : le 11 janvier dernier, c’est par une majorité des deux tiers (81 sur 120), que les députés de Skopje ont validé les ...

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Éducation - Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Higher Education: the French Model in Question

Half a century has passed since the student revolt of May 1968 and it has to be said that higher education in France has since been democratized, there being more than 2.5 million students in 2016, as against some 500,000 at the time. But has that democratization been accompanied by efficiency (in terms of employment, excellence — including in research — adaptation to technological and scientific change and globalization, etc.)? Among other things, recent difficulties encountered by the higher-education student recruitment system, sustained international competition between educational institutions, the existence of disciplinary silos and the administrative complexity of the institutions concerned, despite regular attempts at reform, give grounds for doubt. It is for this reason that Futuribles has chosen to devote a dossier in this issue to the subject of higher education, a dossier to which Jean-François Cervel makes the opening contribution with an examination of the French model.

After analysing the way the system operates (it has evolved relatively little over time and favours France’s Grandes Écoles over universities in the classic sense of the term), Jean-François Cervel stresses its limitations in the current context of mass higher education and internationalized teaching. He outlines the developments there have been in the last decade and a half, and the efforts made, mainly by the universities, to keep abreast of these and invest in areas of future potential. Things are changing, but there is still much to do. Hence the importance, which Cervel stresses here, of rethinking the system and adapting its purposes and goals to the world of the future, which requires, among other things, a degree of administrative simplification and consolidation of structures. The proposals formulated by Jean-François Cervel are intended to make a contribution to current government thinking aimed at reforming higher education and research in France and at reviving the country’s competitiveness.


Éducation - Institutions

Enseignement supérieur : pour quoi faire ?

Au-delà des revendications en lien avec l’évolution des mœurs (celle des garçons de pouvoir aller dans les chambres des filles au sein des résidences universitaires), de la contestation de l’impérialisme américain (sur fond de guerre au Viêt-nam), les manifestations du printemps 1968 en France reposaient sur une vive contestation de l’enseignement supérieur. On y comptait alors de l’ordre de 500 000 étudiants au profil social très homogène (un enfant d’ouvrier avait 1,4 chance sur ...

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Économie, emploi - Institutions

Two Voices for Europe: Towards a Revival of the European Union

A change has been underway in Europe for some months now. In the context of the announcement of the UK’s departure from the European Union and weakened US leadership from an unpredictable president, the voice of the EU may well assume particular significance and begin to resonate internationally. If we add to this encouraging prospects for economic growth and a proactive attitude on the part of the presidents of the European Commission and France, it does not seem far-fetched to dream of a genuine revival of the European project.

This at least is hinted at by Catherine Vielledent in this article, drawing on two speeches from last September by Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron, which both seem to be moving in the direction of such a stimulus to the Union and to European (economic, social, monetary etc.) integration. This article highlights the respective proposals of the two presidents on this question, their points of convergence and the perspectives they open up for the EU. It also stresses the need not to miss the window of opportunity, the next European elections being scheduled for a little over a year from now, in May 2019.

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique - Institutions

Catalonia, Kurdistan, Scotland — What Right to Independence?

The political crisis Spain is going through after Catalonia’s referendum on self-determination and the direct rule imposed on that community until the regional elections of 21 December 2017 (the current issue of Futuribles went to press before that date) has played its part in rekindling debate on the potential independence of some European territories. Brexit had opened up the debate by raising questions over the status of Northern Ireland and Scotland. The same debate flares up regularly between Walloons and Flemings in Belgium or with regard to Corsica’s position in France etc. It is the aim of this first European column of 2018 to assess where we are today with the question of the right to independence within the framework of the EU, so far as territories like Catalonia, Kurdistan or Scotland are concerned. Jean-François Drevet draws on the statute and case law of the Union, and also on earlier experiences in Europe (in the Balkans, for example) or across the Atlantic (Quebec). Above and beyond the different ways different communities are assessed (“a double standard”?), he shows how complex such questions are and how naïve it is to assume that the settlement of regional independence demands on the Old Continent could be accelerated or simplified at the European level.


Économie, emploi - Institutions

Document de réflexion sur l’avenir des finances de l’UE

Document de réflexion sur l’avenir des finances de l’UE

Dans le cadre d’un processus initié au lendemain du vote du Brexit, la Commission européenne a publié une série de « documents de réflexion » pour illustrer une approche générale sur le futur de l’Europe [1]. Ces documents de réflexion abordent des points a priori essentiels pour l’avenir du continent, et de l’Union en particulier : dimension sociale (avril 2017), maîtrise de la mondialisation (mai), approfondissement de l’Union économique et monétaire (mai), défense (juin). Face à des dossiers ...

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Tribune européenne


Toward the Return of Federalism?

Sixty years after the European Union (EU) was formed with the signing of the Treaty of Rome, its governing bodies initiated a process of reflection on the future of Europe. We reflected this discussion in our July/August issue (419) with Gabriel Arnoux’s article on the various scenarios for the sharing of competences between the Union and its member states. Jean-François Drevet continues that examination of the EU’s possible futures here by looking into the institutional dimension and the prospects for a move in the direction of federalism. There are so many sticking points and member states are so attached to their sovereignty that this debate, recurrent since the creation of the EU, between the advocates of intergovernmental operation and the proponents of federalism has for many years seen the former group in the ascendant. Nevertheless, times are changing and, both at the socioeconomic and geopolitical levels, the limitations of that intergovernmental operation are beginning to show. The time has perhaps come, as this column suggests, to look more objectively at the advantages a shift to federalism would bring — and to prepare European citizens for it.


Économie, emploi - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Blockchain. La révolution de la confiance

Blockchain. La révolution de la confiance

Cet ouvrage propose une introduction à la blockchain. Il clarifie les principales questions techniques utiles à sa compréhension, décrit une série d’applications concrètes dans de multiples secteurs d’activités et ouvre à des questions prospectives en traitant des aspects révolutionnaires de la blockchain pour nos systèmes économiques. L’architecture de l’ouvrage est simple et efficace : un premier chapitre introductif est suivi des trois chapitres qui traitent ces trois points, soit un chapitre technique, un chapitre pratique et un ...

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Économie, emploi - Institutions

Euro. Par ici la sortie ?

Euro. Par ici la sortie ?

Il arrive que les éditeurs imposent aux auteurs des titres très accrocheurs qui ne reflètent ni leur pensée ni même le contenu de leur ouvrage. Ce pourrait être le cas de celui-ci, la lecture de la table des matières n’étant pas exempte de raccourcis, comme par exemple « La grande illusion du marché unique » ou « Le poison du dogmatisme ». Heureusement, le point d’interrogation qui figure à la fin du titre indique que tout n’est peut-être pas consommé pour ...

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Analyse prospective


Turquie : défis et perspectives d’un acteur stratégique

Souvent présentée comme le pont joignant l’Orient à l’Occident, la Turquie jouit d’une position géographique et culturelle tout à fait singulière. Forte de près de 75 millions d’habitants répartis sur les 780 000 kilomètres carrés ayant survécu au démembrement de l’Empire ottoman, elle a longtemps constitué « l’exception démocratique » en Asie occidentale puisque, peuplée à 98 % de musulmans, la République turque est dotée d’institutions laïques et parlementaires. Néanmoins, l’arrivée au pouvoir en 2002 ...

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Géopolitique - Institutions

La Fin de l’Europe ? L’Union au défi du Brexit

La Fin de l’Europe ? L’Union au défi du Brexit

Publié peu de temps après le vote britannique, le livre n’y consacre qu’une attention limitée. Son objectif est plus global : il veut montrer à quel point le projet européen est menacé, ce qui est fort utile pour faire prendre conscience à l’opinion de la situation très risquée dans laquelle nous sommes placés en matière de construction européenne, à cause non pas du Brexit, mais des fragilités qui se sont accentuées au cours des dernières années, tant dans ...

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Géopolitique - Institutions

China’s Future

China’s Future

Si la démocratie ne garantit pas le développement, l’amélioration du niveau de vie a contribué à l’adoption de régimes démocratiques, comme l’ont montré en Asie les précédents de la Corée du Sud et de Taiwan. Ces précédents demeurent des exceptions comme en témoignent les trajectoires politiques de la Malaisie, de Singapour, de la Thaïlande à nouveau gouvernée par une junte militaire, et de la Chine. En dépit d’ une amélioration spectaculaire du niveau de vie chinois depuis ...

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Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques

La Recherche et l’innovation en France. FutuRIS 2016

La Recherche et l’innovation en France. FutuRIS 2016

L’édition 2016 du livre de FutuRIS, le groupe de prospective sur le système français de recherche et d’innovation, piloté par l’ANRT (Association nationale de la recherche et la technologie), ne déroge pas à la tradition : en 10 chapitres il dresse un état des lieux et jette un coup de projecteur sur des dossiers importants. Jacques Lesourne, dans son introduction, estime que le système français de recherche et d’innovation (SFRI) navigue en eaux troubles et calmes avec ...

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Chapitre de rapport annuel vigie


Chapitre Institutions du Rapport Vigie 2016

Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques. Il constitue ainsi un document de synthèse des grandes transformations repérées et analysées dans le cadre de Vigie, le dispositif permanent de veille et d'analyse prospective développé par l'association au profit de ses membres partenaires.Vous pouvez ...

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Tribune européenne


Can the British Really Leave the Union?

The history of the UK’s relations with the European Community –and, subsequently, European Union– has never run smoothly. With their preferential trans-Atlantic links to the USA and an economy which, for a long time, they regarded as sizeable enough on its own, the British dragged their feet over joining Europe and have always striven to limit as much as possible what they give back to it for membership. For a few years now, as Jean-François Drevet reminds us here, the British have lacked enthusiasm about the Union and now find themselves just a few strides from the exit, after the rash commitment of the Conservative prime minister to organize a referendum among his fellow citizens within the next two years to decide on the country’s continuing membership. As this column shows, neither the politically obstructive past attitude of the British nor their current attempts to renegotiate the country’s place in the EU have brought them any significant advantages over their partners. And the prospect of a Brexit would doubtless be much more damaging to the UK than to the other 27 member states which, with or without it, will remain international big hitters.