French President Emmanuel Macron attends the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 24, 2018 in Davos.
25 January 2018

#Franceisback – In Davos, France advocates protective globalisation

In his speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos on 24 January, the President of the Republic spoke in favour of adoption of a new global contract, designed to protect the most vulnerable people, in which Europe would play a major role. Economic growth is not an end but a means.

The President of the Republic’s vision of globalisation is twofold: a vision of openness as well as of protection of the most vulnerable individuals. “Our responsibility consists of constructing a France which is open to the world and also capable of integrating people left behind by globalisation,” he stated.

France is back

The President’s first message was to remind his audience that France is back on the world stage, thanks to:

  • a strategy of attractiveness based on human capital and innovation,
  • investment,
  • a flexible business environment,
  • the fight against global warming,
  • a cultural change consisting of “rewarding risk-taking and reducing the cost of failure.”

Europe at the forefront

The President also emphasised that integration into globalisation is by way of Europe. He called for a European “avant-garde” set on furthering the economic, social, environmental, scientific and political aspects of integration, and recommended a 10-year strategy to this end. “For those who wish to move forward, our door is open,” he affirmed.

Protective globalisation

According to Emmanuel Macron, “growth is not an end but a means”, put at the service of social justice in globalisation. By stressing this, he warned against the very real risk that democracy runs of seeing a form of growth develop that increases inequalities.

A “new global contract” is therefore proposed, involving States and private actors alike and based on three obligations:

  1. The obligation to invest, especially in education and above all that of young girls in developing countries, as “the solution lies with women.”
  2. The obligation to share, via a fairer division of value in companies, (profit-sharing and CSR), progress in gender equality and more equitable division of fiscal resources (countering tax avoidance, taxation of digital businesses).
  3. The obligation to protect. Initially by encouraging social cohesion measures: “The IMF must make the granting of its loans conditional on implementation of reforms in favour of social cohesion, and not on reduction of social expenditure”. Then by taking further steps with regard to climate, through setting a floor price for CO2 at European level, for example. And finally, by coordinating counterterrorism strategies.

In order to implement this new global contract, an approach based on cooperation and multilateralism is required, with a coherent agenda as regards common goods.


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