The exercise was perilous: contested by the opposition, Elisabeth Borne had to reveal her style, her method and her program. Faced with a National Assembly where she does not have an absolute majority, the Prime Minister delivered her general policy statement on Wednesday, July 6, two days after the reshuffle.
From the first minutes of her speech, Elisabeth Borne spoke of the lessons that the executive has learned from the legislative elections. “The French are asking us to act and to act differently, they are asking us to take responsibility,” she said. “We measure the magnitude of the task, we will take our responsibilities. We cannot disappoint”, insisted the Prime Minister, adding that “disorder and instability are not options”.
According to her, “the French invite us to new practices, a sustained dialogue and an increased search for compromise”. “I want us to restore meaning and virtue to the word ‘compromise’ for too long forgotten”, launched the head of government, calling on the other political forces to “enter the era of forces that build together” .
The Prime Minister assured that she wanted to carry out “a dense consultation for each subject”. “We will approach each text in a spirit of dialogue, compromise and openness”, she insisted, calling for building “project majorities”.
“A relative majority is not and will not be a sign of relative action or powerlessness,” continued Elisabeth Borne. She said “to believe in three things: listening, action and the result” and to have “only one compass: to build for our country”.
The government of Elisabeth Borne “aims to aim for full employment”, which is “within our reach”, she underlined. She has not set a specific date or figure for this goal. Full employment in France is generally considered an unemployment rate around 5%. “Our country can and must get out of the vicious circle of mass unemployment,” she argued, before discussing the future pension reform.
At 7.3%, the unemployment rate is “the lowest for 15 years”, a consequence, according to her, of the reforms of apprenticeship, unemployment insurance, investment in the training of job seekers and the “one young person, one solution” plan. To achieve full employment, “we must bring back to employment those who are furthest from the labor market”, she said. But the organization of support for the unemployed is today “too complex” and “its effectiveness suffers”.
“Our country needs a reform of its pension system”, a reform which “will not be uniform”, which “will have to take into account long careers and arduous work” and “ensure the continued employment of seniors” she considered. “Our government will lead it in consultation with the social partners by involving parliamentarians as far upstream as possible,” she continued to boos from the opposition. This reform, “is not tied up, it will not be take it or leave it, but it is essential”. “We will have to work gradually a little longer,” said the Prime Minister. She gave her definition of work: “Work remains for me the major lever of emancipation. It is the creation of wealth. The freedom to undertake. The sharing of complementary resources.”
“We can no longer continue to have, on the one hand, the State which accompanies job seekers, on the other, the regions which take care of their training and the departments in charge of the integration of beneficiaries. of the RSA”, she judged. “That’s why we want to transform Pôle emploi into France Travail,” she said, suggesting that the public operator should oversee these currently dispersed skills.
“We must join forces, work together to be more effective in supporting the unemployed,” she insisted with regard to local authorities. “This is how every French person will find their place in the labor market and how we will meet the recruitment needs of companies,” she said.
The Prime Minister promised “radical responses to the ecological emergency”, whether “in our way of producing, of housing, of moving around, of consuming”. “As of September, we will launch a broad consultation with a view to an energy-climate orientation law”, she added, promising to define “sector by sector, territory by territory” “objectives of reduction of emissions, appropriate steps and means”.
“Together, we will win the climate battle,” Elisabeth Borne wanted to believe. “Europe has set itself the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 and of reducing its emissions by 55% by 2030. These goals we must achieve,” she said. To do this, “each minister will have a climate and biodiversity roadmap.” “We will be the first major ecological nation to get out of fossil fuels,” promised the Prime Minister. “Our ecology is an ecology of progress,” she continued.
Elisabeth Borne said she wanted to “protect biodiversity” from the perspective of a “sixth great extinction”. She also expressed her desire to “continue our exit from a wasteful society”, by supporting the recycling and reuse sectors.
The State also intends to renationalise 100% of the EDF group, announced Elisabeth Borne in her general policy speech. “I confirm to you today the State’s intention to hold 100% of EDF’s capital. This development will enable EDF to strengthen its capacity to carry out ambitious and essential projects for our energy future as soon as possible”, she said.
The State now owns nearly 84% of the electrician, 1% being held by employees and 15% by institutional and individual shareholders. The group, already heavily indebted, is facing heavy financial burdens, and is also being challenged by the government to launch a new nuclear reactor program. “The energy transition goes through nuclear,” insisted Elisabeth Borne, taking up the position adopted this winter by Emmanuel Macron.
“Insecurity is inequality,” assured Elisabeth Borne to the deputies. “I say it bluntly: shame on those who systematically attack our police and gendarmes,” she added. “There are many challenges against daily insecurity, against cyber delinquency, against trafficking,” she said. “I hear the anger of the French and the exasperation of the police in the face of repeat offenders”, added the head of government, then referring to the creation of 200 gendarmerie brigades and 11 units of mobile forces. In criminal matters, she mentioned the creation of 15,000 prison places and the recruitment of 8,500 magistrates and judicial personnel.
The government also wants to make the culture pass accessible from the 6th year, which currently allows 15-18 year olds to have a budget to buy cultural products. Initially intended for young people reaching the age of 18 with 300 euros to spend, this pass was extended at the beginning of the year to teenagers from 15 years old with 20 euros the year of their 15 years, 30 euros the year of their 16 years and 30 euros the year they turn 17. It also currently includes a collective component, with an envelope depending on the number of students for classes from the 4th.
The government also wants to create “a public early childhood service” in order to open 200,000 additional childcare places to meet the current need for childcare solutions for young children, said Elisabeth Borne. “My government wants to build, with the communities, a real public service for early childhood,” she said. “It will make it possible to provide the 200,000 missing reception places,” she added. These custody solutions will be “close to homes” and “financially accessible”. Elisabeth Borne also announced that the government would grant “aid to single-parent families for the care of children up to 12 years of age”.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to all the women “who have paved the way before us” in politics, assuring that “the fight will continue until equality is no longer a question”. “I know, in this Assembly chaired for the first time by a woman and like every woman on these benches, what I owe to all those who paved the way before us”, declared Elisabeth Borne at the end of her policy statement. general before the deputies.
The Prime Minister hailed “the Republic, which paved the way for so many women before me”, citing “Irène Joliot-Curie, Suzanne Lacore and Cécile Brunschvicg, the first women members of a government, in 1936, under the Popular Front “. “I am thinking of the first 33 women to enter this hemicycle the day after the Liberation. I am thinking of Simone Veil, whose strength and courage inspire me at this desk. I am thinking of Edith Cresson, the first woman to access the functions of Prime Minister”, she continued. “I believe in the power of example and the fight will continue until equality is no longer a question,” said Elisabeth Borne.
Unlike many of her predecessors, the Prime Minister will not submit to a vote of confidence. The head of government will therefore join her seven predecessors on the left and on the right who gave up seeking the confidence of deputies under the Fifth Republic during their declaration of general policy. Having only a relative majority in the National Assembly, and a minority in the Senate, Elisabeth Borne thus wished to avoid a double pitfall for her great baptism of fire: to be overthrown if the vote of confidence was refused to her by the deputies or to be maintained thanks to the abstention of the elected RN.