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The financial crisis did not spare the French economy, which is facing a deep recession in 2009, even if the situation is less severe than elsewhere. Once the recovery begins, a priority will be to phase out the general government budget deficit but, given the already very heavy burden of taxes and compulsory contributions, public finance consolidation will require strict control over expenditures.
France has seen a marked decline in its export performance, which is related to a series of factors, rather than to any single cause. Restoring competitiveness will require steps to strengthen the country’s growth potential and to address the main long term determinants of that potential, such as fostering research and development, promoting innovation, reducing the tax burden, boosting competition and creating favourable conditions
Despite the great progress France has made in opening its markets for goods and services, and in strengthening the overall framework for competition, there are still regulatory barriers to entry in many sectors, particularly in retail trade and various professional services. The emergence of real competition in the retail market for gas and electricity and in telecommunications (provision of high speed Internet through a fibre optics
The authorities have undertaken numerous structural reforms since the last OECD Economic Survey was published in June 2007 and many of those reforms go in the direction of the recommendations offered at that time. These efforts will have to be pursued and the momentum of reform maintained, with the greatest challenge being to raise the employment rate of youths and seniors in order to restore the health of public finances and sustain
Despite France’s previously well deserved reputation as a highly centralised state, a significant number of responsibilities have been devolved to regional and local government over the past two decades. The process has not been easy, as is discussed in this working paper.
The French education system has a mixed record. A generally very successful pre school and primary school level contrasts with underfunded public universities with high dropout rates which exist alongside very successful higher education institutions for elites, as discussed in this working paper.
Reducing poverty and social exclusion is an important objective for all French governments. Even though conventionally measured poverty is in fact lower than in most other countries, it is still higher than can be easily accepted.
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This note, taken from Chapter 2 of Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2007, contains information about the progress in implementing reforms in line with the 2006 priorities for France.
This paper analyses various characteristics of the French labour market that may explain the low utilisation of labour potential.
English, , 38kb
This note, taken from Chapter 2 of Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2006, contains information about the progress in implementing reforms in line with the 2005 priorities for France.
In addition to passing of legislation or other decisions to implement reforms, the note records earlier stages of reform, such as government announcements and draft legislation presented to parliaments.