The new era of lobbying - Chapter 8 : The French insufficiency

Alain-Patrick Umucyo By Alain-Patrick Umucyo, 7th Dec 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3gpkvcvp/
Posted in Wikinut>News>World

From 1 December to 5 December 2014, French employers staged the “week of Employers' Mobilisation for Growth and Jobs”.(1) This action highlighted how inefficiently French entrepreneurs' interests are promoted in the public sphere. This is particularly striking in an European Union where lobbying actions from a State to another are unequally organised.

1 The lacking French model of lobbying

The Austrian model of lobbying is remarkably integrated. It is hallmarked by an active presence at every decisive level, from the national level to the level of the European Union.(2) In contrast, the French model is lacking. This is notable in the organisation SME, composed of various conservative parties from the European Union and whose purpose is “ to shape EU policies in a more SME friendly way.”(3)

At SME Europe :
- The Austrians benefit from the Honorary Membership (Johannes Hahn), the Honorary Presidency (Paul Rübig, Christoph Leitl) as well as the Vice-Presidency and the office of Treasurer (Angelika Winzig).(4) Paul Rübig is also a Member of the European Parliament.(5) Furthermore, he is an active member of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber(6) whose members include Christoph Leitl(7) and Angelika Winzig(8). The latter is a Member of the Austrian Parliament.(9)
- The French are represented by only one Vice-President, Jean-Paul Gauzès.(10) He is also a Member of the European Parliament but his commitment for the French enterprises is less institutional.(11)

This relatively weak and less integrated presence of the French lobbying is symptomatic of the current situation in France. The country seems to be subject to the directives of the European Union without its entrepreneurs being able to benefit from that.

2 The shackles of the European Union

In the institutions, lobbyists contribute to the strengthening of the EU framework.(12) Thus they participate in the production of shackles which require the national politicians to follow the Union's course of actions.

These shackles have forced the French government to act in favour of enterprises thus conforming to the directives issued under the Europe 2020 strategy. Adopted in 2010, Europe 2020 aims at fostering “growth and jobs”.(13) “It is about more than just overcoming the crisis from which our economies are now gradually recovering. It is also about addressing the shortcomings of our growth model and creating the conditions for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.”(14)

In 2010, the European Commission put “forward seven flagship initiatives”to include in the in the Europe 2020 strategy.(15) One of them was : “An industrial policy for the globalisation era”.(16) The goal was to “to improve the business environment, notably for SMEs (...)”(17) The seven flagship initiatives had to “commit both the EU and the Member States.”(18) The Commission wanted as well a commitment from “national, local and regional authorities”.(19)

Today, “The Europe 2020 strategy is implemented and monitored in the context of the European Semester, the yearly cycle of coordination of economic and budgetary policies.”(20) To ensure that the Member States respect their engagements, the European Commission's technocrats analyse their “economic situation and” provide “recommendations on measures should adopt over the coming 18 months.(21)

For 2013, the EU's analysts conceded that “(...) France made some progress in addressing its structural weaknesses. (…) the government introduced a pact on growth, competitiveness and employment to support companies, for example, by reducing labour taxation.”(22) Notwithstanding, they required continuing efforts to “simplify the business environment and improve the framework conditions that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.”(23) They suggested also an improvement of “cooperation and synergies between the different layers of administration (central, local and regional).”(24)

The French government abode by the recommendations and set in motion the scissors for simplifying and securing the legal environment(25), that is cutting into the French legislation, and for redesigning the map of France to create “new regions, stronger, of an European size and with strengthened competencies.”(26) These scissors are the main tool of the French New Deal begun in 2014.(27) The effects of this new deal will start to be fully sensible in 2017. In the time remaining, the French insufficiency burden the State's entrepreneurs.

3 The malaise of French entrepreneurs

On 10 November 2014, the lobbying firm Sountsou noted that “the reasons for tensions between the government and the employers unions multiplied these past weeks.”(28) It highlighted an excerpt from an interview of the vice-President of the main French employers union who warned that “(...) the government adds virtually every day a new taxation there, a measure of complexity there, so we're reaching the limit”. He preluded the “week of Employers' Mobilisation for Growth and Jobs”(29). The thematic of this Action week is strictly identical to the founding elements of the shackles Europe 2020 : growth and jobs. When the French employers adopt the lingo of the European Commission, the “street lobbying”(30) suggested by Sountsou is characterised.

The French government is now pressured by the European Union on one side and the employers on the other. The strategy developped by the latter is obviously to exert the pressure themselves instead of leaving it to the traditional lobbies. Lobbyists are now left aside growing the ranks of commentators. The French strategy of “street lobbying” contrasts sharply with the remarkably integrated model of Austrian lobbying. Austrians have chosen to place their lobbyists at every major level of public decision. This accentuates the insufficiency of the traditional French lobbying.

The present chapter is part of The new era of lobbying volume.

SOURCES

(1)Libérons l'entreprise. <http://www.liberonslentreprise.fr/> accessed 05 December 2014

(2)UMUCYO Alain-Patrick. Diagram : The Austrian model of lobbying . 26 November 2014. Google Docs. <https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1y87NDUGgaUUCqaaHzZZFLWkq_Sef2L-zWMNOALVsrEA/edit?usp=sharing> accessed 05 December 2014

(3)SME EUROPE. Introduction . SME Europe. <http://www.smeeurope.eu/introduction/> accessed 05 December 2014

(4)SME EUROPE. Board . SME Europe. <http://www.smeeurope.eu/introduction/team-2/> accessed 05 December 2014

(5)PARLEMENT EUROPÉEN. Députés – Paul Rübig . Parlement européen. <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/2278/Paul%20R%C3%9CBIG_home.html> accessed 05 December 2014

(6)PAUL RUEBIG. Lebenslauf . Paul Ruebig. <http://www.paulruebig.eu/ueber-mich> accessed 24 November 2014

(7)SME EUROPE. Board . SME Europe. <http://www.smeeurope.eu/introduction/team-2/> accessed 26 November 2014

(8)REPUBLIK ÖSTERRIECH - PARLAMENT . Dr Angelika Winzig . Parlament. <http://www.parlament.gv.at/WWER/PAD_60878/> accessed 26 November 2014

(9)Ibidem

(10)SME EUROPE. Board . SME Europe. <http://www.smeeurope.eu/introduction/team-2/> accessed 26 November 2014

(11)JEAN-PAUL GAUZÈS. Portrait . Jean-Paul GAUZÈS. <http://www.jeanpaulgauzes.eu/portrait.php> accessed 26 November 2014

(12)UMUCYO Alain-Patrick. The new era of lobbying - Chapter 5 : XXIst century lobbying, the new power . 22 November 2014. Wikinut. <http://nut.bz/3vbzk5hj/ > accessed 06 December 2014

(13)EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Europe 2020 in a nutshell . Last updated 28 November 2014. European Commission. <http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/europe-2020-in-a-nutshell/index_en.htm> accessed 06 December 2014

(14)Ibidem

(15)EUROPEAN COMMISSION. EUROPE 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth . 03 March 2010, Brussels. COM(2010) 2020 final. p. 5 <http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:2020:FIN:EN:PDF> accessed 06 December 2014

(16)Ibidem

(17)Ibidem

(18)EUROPEAN COMMISSION. EUROPE 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth . 03 March 2010, Brussels. COM(2010) 2020 final. p. 6 <http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:2020:FIN:EN:PDF> accessed 06 December 2014

(19)Ibidem

(20)EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Europe 2020 in a nutshell . Last updated 28 November 2014. European Commission. <http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/europe-2020-in-a-nutshell/index_en.htm> accessed 06 December 2014

(21)EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Europe 2020 in France . Last updated 06 November 2013. European Commission. <http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/europe-2020-in-your-country/france/index_en.htm> accessed 07 December 2014

(22)Ibidem

(23)EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Europe 2020 in France - 2013 European Commission's recommendations for France in brief . Last updated 06 November 2013. European Commission. <http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/europe-2020-in-your-country/france/index_en.htm> accessed 07 December 2014

(24)Ibidem

(25)MINISTÈRE DE LA JUSTICE. Simplifier et sécuriser la vie juridique des entreprises . 30 July 2014. Ministère de la justice. <http://www.justice.gouv.fr/la-garde-des-sceaux-10016/simplifier-et-securiser-la-vie-juridique-des-entreprises-27385.html> accessed 04 December 2014

(26)GOUVERNEMENT. Avant/après : la carte animée de 22 à 13 régions . 25 November 2014. Gouvernement.fr. <http://www.gouvernement.fr/de-22-a-13-regions> accessed 04 December 2014

(27)UMUCYO Alain-Patrick. 2014 - 2017 : the French New Deal . 04 December 2014. Bitly. <https://bitly.com/bundles/alainpatrickumucyo/u> accessed 04 December 2014

(28)SOUNTSOU. CGPME-MEDEF et le lobbying de rue . 10 November 2014. Sountsou. <http://www.sountsou.fr/actu/cgpme-medef-lobbying-rue/> accessed 13 November 2014

(29)Libérons l'entreprise. <http://www.liberonslentreprise.fr/> accessed 05 December 2014

(30)SOUNTSOU. CGPME-MEDEF et le lobbying de rue . 10 November 2014. Sountsou. <http://www.sountsou.fr/actu/cgpme-medef-lobbying-rue/> accessed 13 November 2014

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