EU flag and European Commission building
30 April 2020

Economic recovery: the European Union blueprint

On 29 April 2020, the Minister of Economy and Finance was heard by the National Assembly. This hearing gave him an opportunity to underscore the importance of a coordinated European strategy in economic and technological terms, such that the European Union (EU) can “outline for the world the most appropriate economic development blueprint for the 21st century”.
 
During this hearing, which focused on what measures have been and should be rolled out to enable strong and sustainable economic recovery on exiting the Covid-19 crisis, Bruno Le Maire talked about Europe’s role in this recovery.

Clearly identified challenges

For the Minister of Economy and Finance, Europe’s challenges are clear:
 
  • Converging responses to the euro area crisis must be found so as not to exacerbate economic disparities between the Member States: the survival of the euro area itself will be at risk if certain European economies rebound very quickly, leaving others lagging behind.
     
  • Investment in technologies of the future must continue to avoid Europe losing ground to China and the United States where new technologies are concerned.
"If (…) the right decisions are made, France can emerge from this crisis stronger and the European Union can outline, for the rest of the world, an economic development blueprint that will certainly be the most appropriate for the 21st century".
Bruno Le Maire
Minister of Economy and Finance


Europe: an economic blueprint

There are two key priorities to ensure the success of this European blueprint:
 
  • Redefine the rules of globalisation, which must come hand-in-hand with respect for the environment – this is the number one priority –, respect for borders, not least the borders of the European continent, and respect for national and European economic interests: globalisation must no longer be synonymous with unbridled open markets. Globalisation must be synonymous with regulation, supervision and determined efforts to tackle climate change. Accordingly, in France, regarding foreign investments, the limit for triggering the scrutiny procedure will be lowered from 25% to 10% until the end of the year, for all non-European investors. Similarly, the spectrum of vetted sectors will be extended to include biotechnologies, which is crucial for protecting research into developing a Covid vaccine for example.
     
  • Coordinate the stimulus plans of the euro area’s largest economies: support for investment, support for demand, specific plan for a certain number of strategic sectors, European coordination.

main guidelines for the next 25 years

The main guidelines for the French economy over the next 25 years are consistent with the EU’s own guidelines:
 
  • This is a historic opportunity to make France the leading low-carbon economy in Europe and Europe the first and only continent to have swiftly completed its energy transition.
     
  • Value chains will be reshored by repatriating manufacturing chains, to France or at the very least to Europe. France must be at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies, by remaining the most innovative economy in Europe.
Bruno Le Maire will support strengthened European cooperation since none of the above will come to much if it is not backed up by:
  • a bolstered European industrial policy,
  • a revised European competition policy,
  • a carbon tax introduced at the borders to make European reshoring profitable,
  • fair taxation of the tech giants for all European States.

European Council

At the video conference of the members of the European Council, held on 23 April 2020, France was able to defend two issues: Europ... [Read more]
24 April 2020