In summer 2013, President François Hollande asked France Stratégie, the government’s strategic-planning unit, to examine the prospects for France 10 years from now. Ten years –two French presidential terms– is enough time to reverse the current trends and to achieve results.
France Stratégie started then to conduct a wide-ranging debate with local and national politicians, economists, businessmen and labour leaders and the civil society on the critical issues that the country faces. Based on those exchanges, the report, released in June 2014(1), analyses the current situation and sets out a series of eight strategic priorities for the next decade.
France in 2025
A majority of the French people expect the future to be much like the present, but worse. Life expectancy and health may improve, and technology will continue to transform the way people live. But the country will be more divided, inequalities will widen, growth will be weak or non-existent. Energy and food will be more expensive, employment less secure than today. The generous French social model will have reached its limits. Public debt will have grown to an unsustainable level. Global warming will worsen. As for the European Union, it will remain largely
powerless to ensure the prosperity of Europeans.
It is possible to make this vision happen –but it is not inevitable. Other countries have succeeded in recovering from crises and reaping the fruits of their efforts. Let us, therefore, imagine what France could become by 2025 if it is able to transform itself.
Here are some key goals:
• To return to the top third of European countries for employment.
• To rank among the world’s top ten countries for quality of life (Chart 1).
• To serve as a model of good citizenship, a republic that unites instead of dividing.
• To contribute to shaping the future with greater inventiveness.
• To turn France back into a country that inspires and is being emulated.
1. Quelle France dans dix ans ?, Paris, Fayard, June 2014.