The annual report of “France 2030” disappoints the municipalities
France 2030 blew out its first candle. On this occasion, the government prepared a preliminary assessment of the implementation of the plan. The goal is to “avoid the risk of technological and industrial stagnation,” we explained to Matignon. With €8.4 billion paid out to 1,752 innovative projects since last autumn, Matignon believes the bet has paid off and hopes to maintain this pace in 2023.
By the end of the year, the government expects to exceed the €10 billion aid threshold, half of which will go to decarbonisation projects and half to SMEs and emerging players in new sectors. In an interview with Les Echos, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne estimated that the aid would lead to “the creation of 10,000 potential jobs”. On the aspect of territorialisation, Secretary General for Investments (SGPI) Bruno Bonnell was pleased that 60% of the amounts were paid outside Ile-de-France. Matignon also highlighted the agreement between the State and 11 regions – up to 500 million euros for the State and the same for the regions – and announced the creation of France 2030 sub-prefects, previously responsible for the implementation of the RELAUNCH plan. Among the possible improvements, the prime minister has promised to simplify procedures and speed up territorialisation.
Sébastien Martin, president of France Intercommunalities and the Grand Chalon agglomeration community (ex-LR) is less pleased with this first year. The Gazette interviewed him to find out the reasons for his displeasure.
What do you blame for the placement of this first year of France 2030?
Sebastian Martin: Re-industrialization of the country cannot be carried out only on the scale of a few territories. 60% of the funding was distributed to the Ile-de-France and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions, as large companies are headquartered in these two regions. These companies are perfectly capable of responding to the monitoring of these types of programs. Although innovative small and medium industries (SMEs) do not necessarily have a monitoring group to position themselves in these calls for projects.
This is more than the previous Investments for the Future Program (PIA). We have not recorded the results of the problems that this program may cause. However, we know very well that most of the industrial development is taking place outside the big cities. The challenge of France 2030 should not be innovation for the sake of innovation above all, but the re-industrialization of the country. We need a more bottom-up system.
What problems does this lack of territorialization of France 2030 pose?
The Prime Minister told us that in less than a year there have already been about fifty calls for projects. It happens once a week. How do we track? That’s the horror. There is nothing worse than a top-down system. Only the best informed and most qualified to respond to calls for projects do so. France 2030 should not be limited to funding the innovations of a few large groups. We have been asking for a long time that the territorialization of this plan should not only go through regional conventions. It is a matter of method. The problem is that Bersi wants to keep control over the number of calls for projects. They are very practical for Bercy as they can redeem unused credits. We really have to agree to trust the territories.
How can France 2030 be made more territorial?
A €1 billion deal from 53 regions is always better than nothing, but it’s not ideal at all. We say, be careful, if we do not territorialize more and above all activate the connection with industrial areas, we will miss many projects. Let’s use this very good vector. Just because some people struggle doesn’t mean you should throw the baby out with the bathwater. I welcome Bruno Bonnell’s good intentions, but if I were him, I would immediately call an assembly of industrial areas and mobilize them for France 2030. Sometimes it’s great to support ultra-efficient innovation sectors in niches, but we also need to support our more traditional industries towards this innovation.
Inter-municipal offices recognize business leaders. They should be given the opportunity to activate the economic animators of their economic areas. No one will tell me that it is DREETS who is in constant contact with business leaders. The theme is efficiency and the development of the area that goes with it.
What assurances do you have for the future of the Territoires d’Industrie program?
We are told that there will be announcements by the end of the year. We expect. I fear not the disappearance of industrial areas, but its softening. It would be a mistake of the government not to restart this program and to give it a second life, not to express it with France 2030. We feel that this is a program that some senior officials in Bercy do not like and some want to do without. But we will not allow it. I would like to see the voluntary industry recovery we experienced at the end of the previous five-year period at least equal today. I don’t understand why the state wants to deprive itself of industrial conquest from these thousands of foot soldiers who are municipal elected officials and economic development services.
What do you expect from the government?
We call for an end to calls for projects. We are asking for large envelopes and hands back to regional councils, regional prefects and intercos on key issues. We need to work with localities and elected officials to identify projects and get them off the ground, along with the industrialists we know.
What do you think about the creation of France 2030 sub-prefects?
(End). This decision will not hurt, but everyone knows that our connection with business leaders is close. It is not the sub-prefect for recovery placed next to the regional prefect in Bordeaux who can act on the economic recovery of Kreuz.