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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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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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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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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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.
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.
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 . 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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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.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
With 28 member states, the European Union today has more than 500 million inhabitants. Though not a federal political entity interdependent in all respects, it is an advanced social and economic community that has become increasingly integrated over time, thanks to the efforts of the founder countries who have long been described as Europe’s “advance guard”. Though the European enthusiasm of those countries (beginning with France and Germany) is somewhat on the wane, they are nonetheless driving forces when compared, in particular, to a dozen or so European countries that are members of the Union or hesitating over membership, who were previously, for the most part, members of EFTA (the European Free Trade Area).
These latter (in particular, the Nordic countries, Switzerland, Iceland, Ireland and the UK) seem to be “laggards” with regard to integration, as Jean-François Drevet shows in this column. Driven by the advantages that the Union could bring them in certain fields, they are reluctant to accept the –particularly economic– quid pro quos that go with community solidarity, or to give up their international neutrality. Yet, in a world in economic crisis and prey to troubling political and security reconfigurations, including on European soil, the European Union represents a body that can provide direction and security and which should be able, given its size, to make the voice of its members heard at the world level. This is something that might bring about a shift in the position of these laggards, as this column points out.
Give or take a few periods of brief recovery, France has been in crisis now for more than 40 years: the oil crises of the mid-1970s, the industrial crisis and mass unemployment in the 1980s and 1990s and, more recently, the economic and financial crisis of 2007-08, the end of which is not yet in sight. In response to this state of crisis, the state has regularly dipped into the public finances in an attempt to give the economy fresh impetus. It has not been particularly successful, though it has achieved an almost unmanageable level of debt as a result. If we add to this the limits set by the planetary over-exploitation of natural resources and the need to deal with ongoing climate change, there seems no question that a change of socio-economic model is demanded. Is France capable of taking up this challenge? Futuribles open its columns to two expressions of opinion on “France between declinism and transition”.
Pierre Bonnaure goes first in the debate, showing –from an analysis of plentiful sources ranging over more than 40 years– that the problem was diagnosed long ago and that, despite frequent wake-up calls, France is heading further into the mire. Will it be able to embrace the third industrial revolution, the revolution of mass robotization and digital at all levels? The potential for this exists, argues Bonnaure, but institutional rigidities and the vested interests developed by the leading elites over the years etc. represent major obstacles. This is confirmed by the ignorance these elites have always shown with regard to the warnings issued and reforms proposed over the last few decades.
The fact that many European countries are mired in economic crisis, the social consequences of that crisis and the geopolitical instability now afflicting the eastern and southern frontiers of the EU attest ever more keenly to the limitations of the European institutional model. As an economic giant whose external security is no longer genuinely guaranteed by the United States and an ally reluctant to engage in external theatres of operation, the European Union is perhaps at a crossroads, writes Jean-François Drevet. Beyond this point, only the federalist path can enable it to face current and future challenges. After reviewing Europe’s shortcomings in economic, security and defence matters, Drevet’s column calls for an end to the dilemmas besetting the Union and shows that the most appropriate solution would very definitely be to upscale in terms of political governance and make the –too often rejected– leap to federalism.
L’ancien président de la République française, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, a le grand mérite de rompre le silence assourdissant des leaders politiques français sur l’avenir devenu incertain du grand mouvement d’unification européenne qui a marqué le dernier siècle. Il tire la leçon de la profonde divergence qui oppose les pays décidés à poursuivre le processus d’intégration économique, monétaire et fiscale, et ceux qui se satisfont de la participation à un grand marché et récusent l’objectif ...
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The question of the origins of the wealth of nations has nagged at the mind of many an economist since the first modern contribution to the theme by Adam Smith in 1776. From Angus Maddison to Amartya Sen, by way of Joseph Stiglitz, Jared Diamond or Tony Atkinson, many have tried to offer some sort of answer or to propose arguments capable of explaining inequalities in socio-economic development between countries. In a work published in 2008 (An Introduction to Modern Economic Growth, Princeton: Princeton University Press), the economist Daron Acemoglu identified four fundamental causes of economic growth: natural environment, culture, institutions and luck. He has gone further into this question, with the assistance of James Robinson, in Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (New York: Crown Publishing Group), published in late 2012.
This work has given fresh stimulus to the debate on the origins of international economic inequalities (particularly on account of one of its conclusions –that Chinese economic growth can be expected to falter without major institutional reform in that country) and Charles du Granrut outlines it for us here. He focuses specifically on the factor the authors regard as essential for guaranteeing sustained economic development –“inclusive” political institutions– and cites various examples in support of their argument. Without neglecting the originality of their approach, he compares it to that taken in an earlier, similarly conceived work (Violence and Social Orders by D.C. North, J.J. Wallis and B.R. Weingast) and highlights some limitations of their analysis.