There is hope for France!

This page is under construction

Contrary to most of the other pages on this site, this page contains ONLY GOOD NEWS!

Not everything is negative in the situation of the country and, in many domains, it is improving. I have tried to put together all these positive elements and to show that, in spite of all rigidities, illusions and mistakes, there is hope for France!

Hope for tomorrow!

GOOD NEWS ABOUT EDUCATION!

After the 2008 LRU law (Loi de Renovation Universitaire), which was opposed by everybody within the university (professors, students, unions) and outside (Left Wing parties, unions) and generated long strikes, a slow process of change has started, addressing the major weaknesses of the system :

  • too many universities too small : universities are now bigger and they are now merging in Paris (Paris 4 and Paris 6 into Sorbonne Universites), in Strasbourg (Strasbourg 1 and 2), etc.

  • a dual system universities vs. Grandes Ecoles : they are now cooperating in common structures (PRES now COMUE) like Paris Sud (with Ecole Centrale de Paris, Hautes Etudes Commerciales etc.) or Lyon (with Ecole Centrale de Lyon, Ecole Management de Lyon, etc.)

  • the split between teaching and research is reduced by a closest cooperation with CNRS

  • uniformity and mediocrity : a revolutionary change(!) from 2009-2010 was to allocate State funds for research not proportionally and to all universities, good or bad, but to the best LABEX (Laboratoires d'Excellence) and it is now accepted (after a strong initial opposition, of course)

  • more to come...

 

GOOD NEWS ABOUT POLITICS!

  • The French constitution was designed by Charles de Gaulle and for himself ; it is not fit for weaker personalities with smaller ambitions and less authority as it seems to be the case now and there is a need for a (moderate) swing of power from the president to the parliament, which would probably improve the functioning of the institutions.

  • Back to politics

  • To be completed

 

GOOD NEWS ABOUT CHANGE!

  • The good news is that the Socialist government stopped in January 2015 to do exactly the opposite of what's needed. It even started making tiny decisions in the right way, which showed to its leaders that a majority of the French people supported them and that a strong minority of their own party hated them. It will eventually lead to of split and a re-positioning of French political parties regarding economic issues.
  • Back to change
  • To be completed
 

GOOD NEWS ABOUT EUROPE!

  • Very frankly, it is hard to find something optimistic about Europe these days...
  • Back to Europe
  • To be completed
GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE INSTITUTIONS!
  • After decades where any reform was postponed or forgotten, it is clear now (2014) that "something" ambitious will be done in the next few years

    • to limitate (at least) the number of mandates a politician can hold

    • to reduce by on third the number of regions and limitate (or suppress) the number of departements

    • to make it possible to develop and support experiences of cooperation and simplification of local institutions (like the merging of the City of Lyon and the Departement du Rhone)

  • Back to local institutions

  • To be completed

 

GOOD NEWS ABOUT TAXES!

  • The only good news : taxes have gone so high with the Socialist government that they can only go down ...

  • Back to taxes

  • To be completed

GOOD NEWS ABOUT BUSINESS!
  • More emigration. They do not emigrate in great numbers and when they do, they tend to come back even after many years. The growing proportion of young( and often talented) French people who emigrate to more positive countries (USA, China, UK) brings hope for the future.

  • Back to business

  • To be completed

 

GOOD NEWS ABOUT INNOVATION!

  • The number of new patents is second in Europe, after Germany, and growing faster. See detailed figures.

  • According to the 2017-Barometer published by the Amereican Chamber of Commerce since the 1990s, 81% of US investors consider France's digital know-how a decisive asset for the country.

  • France has the highest rate of creation of companies among the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA) : 4 times the G7 average over a 5 year period, with the creation of 562,000 companies (+4,5% per year) (Source : RSM Study). France is " a tax heaven for start-ups" : see about Xavier Niel.

  • Among the most successful French internet firms : blablacar.fr, auboncoin.com, etc, all of the worth more than $ 1 bn in 2016.

  • Within a few months in 2016, several major foreign companies decided to locate in France a global research center. Among them : Google, Facebook (artificial intelligence), Intel (big data), Samsung (cloud and internet of objects), Cisco, etc.

GOOD NEWS ABOUT STRIKES!

  • Huge train strikes are common in France and traditionnaly well-tolerated. In June 2014, a two-week strike was not "striking as usual" : there was no popular understanding whatsoever of the movement from the travelers.

  • Back to strikes

  • To be completed

 

GOOD NEWS ABOUT CULTURE!

GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE ECONOMY!

  • In 2013, France was once more the first touristic destination in the wolrd, with 84.7 million visitors (before : USA 70, Spain 61, China 56, Italy 48). The organization of the industry has progressed but a lot more can (and probably will) be done to develop the sector which already represents more than a million jobs.

  • Back to business in France

  • To be completed

 

GOOD NEWS ABOUT FRANCE

  • Most important : after years of terrorist attacks and hundreds of victims, the French reacted with dignity and wisdom and no violent racist incident against Muslims living in France has been recorded.

  • More to come...

Facts and figures

  • To be completed
To related pages : History (#1), Irksome France,French issues, etc...

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For more on intercultural differences, order Harriet Welty Rochefort's books :

  • "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming events, testimonials, etc..)

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