France: New labour laws for more competitiveness

Francois Hollande, on the left and José Manuel Barroso (EC Audiovisual Services). The French President as a good bureaucrat of École nationale d'administration always curries a dossier, this time he hides it in his chair.

Francois Hollande, on the left and José Manuel Barroso (EC Audiovisual Services). The French President as a good bureaucrat of École nationale d’administration always curries a dossier, this time he hides it in his chair.

Only hours had passed, after Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs early in the morning of Friday 11 January in Brussels had accused France  of doing little to regain its lost competitiveness, and in Paris during the same afternoon three labour unions agreed with employers on a package deal containing deep changes of labour conditions relaxing old rigidities.

This was a win for Francois Hollande because it was an obvious paving of ground for the forthcoming legislative initiative of his administration to introduce new and more relaxed labour laws.

In detail three out of five major French labour unions, at the exemption of CGT and FO, concluded a draft agreement which is expected to be approved next week. The agreement provides for an easing of layoffs and more incentives for hiring young people. President Hollande hailed the agreement by saying that this is a win for the social entente. The three unions that helped conclude the agreement are the CFTC, CFDT and CFE-CGC.

Returning back to Ollie Rehn, only hours earlier the Commissioner speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by the European Policy Centre in the Belgian capital had directly reprimanded France as follows: “We must be cautious not to lose our international competitiveness, as we are witnessing in countries such as France and Finland, which have been registering worrying losses of their shares in global markets.

It is precisely for these reasons that we proposed, in our Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union, the creation of a Convergence and Competitiveness Instrument. Its objective would be to effectively push forward Member States’ economic reforms for rebalancing and competitiveness. The CCI would combine a binding commitment by a Member State to a particular reform with European financial support to its implementation”.

On the same occasion Rehn had noted that other countries had done a lot to regain competitiveness paying high political and social costs: “In Ireland, relative unit labour costs have fallen by almost 20% since the peak of the crisis, exports are growing and companies are creating jobs. In Spain, exports grew by nearly 20% in real terms between 2009 and 2011. And in Greece, the competitiveness losses over the past decade are being recouped”.

Economic and political analysts in France observe that the most important element of this agreement between labour unions and employers is the easing to cut down hours of work and pay in difficult times as presently. This was a friction point in France’s economic and social affairs for quite some time.

Francois Holland is adopting in the labour front a completely different approach than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy. The latter was following a top-down policy, while Hollande is unfolding a more conciliative initiative encouraging the two social partners first to agree on certain key points and then introduce changes to Parliament to reshape the country’s labour legislation.

Many analysts observe that France is losing competitiveness ground to Italy and even Spain, not to say anything about Germany. If the country continues on the same path there will be soon a turning point where Paris will be the next patient of Eurozone. And this will be a huge weight that Eurozone cannot bear. It was exactly like this when Eurozone made clear to Italians that they had to carry out themselves the task of rebalancing their economy.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU unfolds strategy on the Egypt question

EP leaders call for negotiations on upgraded Transparency Register to continue

Macron defends the idea of European sovereignty

EU Parliament: No EU-US trade agreement without safe data

China, forever new adventures

US Tariffs on Steel and Aluminium: Statement of Trade Committee Chair

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

At UN, Middle East countries discuss steps towards regional nuclear-free zone

United States: UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by deadly California wildfires

Plans to keep EU budget funding in 2020 in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Is it just visa-free travel that Erdogan demands from the EU to not break the migration deal?

Commission challenges Council over EU 2014 budget

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

Commission tries to solidify the EU statistical system

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: who forced the two ‘brave’ Brexiteers to quit?

State aid: Commission concludes that recapitalisation of German NordLB is market conform

MEPs to vote on overhaul of road transport rules in July

Cities will lead the electric transport revolution. Here’s why

Trump’s self-centered politics unravels

Globalization 4.0 must build a better world for working people

The role companies play in boosting growth in emerging markets

Remain united for Syrians, UN envoy de Mistura urges Security Council

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century

UN chief laments ending of Cold War-era disarmament treaty

Easing ‘classroom crisis’ in Côte d’Ivoire, brick by (plastic) brick

Thousands risk lives fleeing fighting in Syria’s last ISIL stronghold

Trump in London poisons UK and Europe

Terrorists potentially target millions in makeshift biological weapons ‘laboratories’, UN forum hears

Migration and rule of law on next ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly agenda

The Five Chinese Girls

SDG progress ‘in danger’ of going backwards without change in direction, new UN report reveals

Service and sacrifice of African peacekeepers ‘at the forefront of our minds’: UN chief

European Commission calls on national political parties to join efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Europe

Nairobi summit: Women’s empowerment a ‘game changer’ for sustainable development

What can Darwin teach the aviation industry about cybersecurity?

UN experts voice ‘deep concern’ over Iran’s ‘consistent pattern’ of denying life-saving medical treatment to detainees

UN condemns ‘heinous’ suicide attack on education centre in Afghanistan

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

UN chief condemns air strike that hit school bus in northern Yemen, killing scores of children

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

Burkina Faso: Dozens killed in clashes, UN chief condemns attacks

UN condemns ‘cowardly’ attack on Libya’s national oil corporation headquarters

MEPs back update of rail passenger rights across EU

UN General Assembly celebrates 20 years of promoting a culture of peace

COP24: Paris agreement remained alive but fragile while the EU attempts to slow down CO2 emissions for new cars

Promoting Primary Health Care to the Young Health Workforce: a new approach

Defence: European Commission paves the way for first joint industrial projects under EU budget

We need to rethink neuroscience. And you can help us

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

Companies can help build a more inclusive world. Here’s how

Criminals thrive on data abundance – here’s how we’ll catch them

European elections: A chance to repel both nationalism and no-deal Brexit

Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade

On Google antitrust case: “Let’s face it, some companies want to hurt Google and it goes as simple as that”

A silent killer: the impact of a changing climate on health

Where is Egypt leading the Middle East and the Mediterranean economy?

More unemployment and lower wages to make European workers competitive?

European Union: Retail sales show deep recession

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s