New French government to prioritise purchasing power, health, climate

To kick things off, Borne's government will submit "emergency laws for purchasing power" to the National Assembly as soon as it resumes work with its newly elected members on 28 June. EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / POOL MAXPPP OUT [EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / POOL MAXPPP OUT]

France’s new government will prioritise work on purchasing power, health, and the climate as the government said it wants to tackle these “emergencies” in the coming weeks, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Friday (27 May). EURACTIV France reports.

This was announced during a government meeting at the prime minister’s office, known as Matignon.

In line with the recommendations set out by President Emmanuel Macron, the government will have to follow a method based on “consultation, co-construction, and results,” Borne explained, adding that she wanted to give a “common framework” to the actions of each minister.

However, with the so-called “reserve period” preventing government officials from intervening or giving their opinion on candidates ahead of the legislative elections on 12 and 19 June, the government cannot reveal as much as it may have wanted to.

Borne has thus made “responding to the emergencies of the French,” the key focus of her government’s strategy.

New French government named: continuity with some surprises

French President Emmanuel Macron appointed his new government on Friday (20 May), following the appointment of Elisabeth Borne as Prime Minister on Monday. His personnel choices signalled continuity with previous governments.

Purchasing power

To kick things off, Borne’s government will submit “emergency laws for purchasing power” to the National Assembly as soon as it resumes work with its newly elected members on 28 June.

Furthermore, the new prime minister will likely call for an extraordinary session to be held in parliament even though a summer recess is usually foreseen.

Health

In health, the government’s focus will be dealing with healthcare staff shortages in hospitals and nursing homes, where the situation has become so critical that many healthcare services, particularly emergency services, have already been shut down. Many more are at risk of closure this summer.

Climate

Another matter of urgency, according to the new government, is the climate, as “all ministries must mobilise to face the climate challenge and must participate in ecological planning,” Borne added.

On top of climate action being a matter for all ministers to grapple with, Borne decided to set up a ‘super climate ministry’, with Amélie de Montchalin as ecological transition minister and Agnès Pannier-Runacher as energy transition minister.

Borne herself will be “in charge of ecological planning” – a first for France.

Three women to steer France's new 'super' green ministry

Ecological Transition Minister Amélie de Montchalin and Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher will be working under the newly appointed Prime Minister in charge of ‘ecological and energy planning’. EURACTIV France reports.

‘Speed, efficiency, results’

Pension reform, another hot topic in France, will be addressed after the legislative elections in June.

Borne and the newly appointed Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt have already started consultations with the unions, which unanimously oppose raising the legal retirement age from 62 to 65, as proposed by Macron. Borne recently backed Macron’s pension reform plans, saying that while retirement at 65 “is not a totem,” reform remains “essential”.

With pension reform being such a thorny issue in France, it is not surprising that the new government decided not to have it as part of what it has labelled ’emergencies’.

French prime minister defends Macron’s pension reform plan

Newly appointed Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne defended the pension reform Macron wishes to implement during his term of office in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche (JDD) on Sunday.

The president has announced an increase in the legal retirement age …

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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