The problems and prospects of reforming the France social sphere

UDK 316.44(44)



V. Pigoliuk – Fourth-Year Student of Country Studies and International Relations Department International Relations Faculty Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University



The work is done at the Department of Country Studies and International Relations Scientific supervisor: Y. Vozniuk Candidate of Political Sciences, Associated Professor of the Department of Country Studies and International Relations

The article discusses and analyzes the problems and prospects of social reforming in France. The article deals with socially-oriented model of the economy, the center of which is the “welfare state”. We proved that the social market economy with elements of etatism smoothed negative features of capitalism in France, the government was protecting the interests of workers in recent years.

Key words: reforming, social sphere, France, etatism, socially-oriented model, state support.

Піголюк В. Проблеми та перспективи реформування соціальної сфери Франції. У статті розглянуто та проаналізовано проблеми та перспективи реформування соціальної сфери Франції. Висвітлено соціально-орієнтовану модель економіки країни, в центрі якої перебуває «держава добробуту». Доведено, що соціальне ринкове господарство з елементами етатизму згладжувало негативні риси капіталізму у Франції, держава стояла на захисті інтересів трудящих протягом останніх років.

Ключові слова: реформування, соціальна сфера, Франція, етатизм, соціально-орієнтована модель, державна підтримка.

France has socially-oriented economic model, the center of which is the «welfare state». Because of the high state role in the economy such a system is often referred as etat model (fr.). The role of government in the economy of France: the state redistributes 54 % of GDP, while the number of employed in the public sector is 24 % of the total number of employees.

Social market economy with elements of etatism smoothed negative features of capitalism in France, the state was to protect the interests of workers. The strong tradition of social market economy, especially in the postwar period, contributed to the acquisition of the French major gains in the social sphere.

However, the modern economy is developing in the new environment: globalization of the world economy and the unification of Europe have a significant impact on the national economy. For further successful global development now it requires economic liberalization, the abolition of internal regulations and new technologies that can serve as a scientific and technical basis for economic growth.

In France, economic development hinders social security system, and the problem of brain drain public finances.

Since 1968 social security system was that the salary of civil servants was much higher than pay in the private business. They are not the subject to reduction in 50‒55 years retire, their pension level than wages. Unemployment is also higher than the average wage in the country. However, all these positive social benefits not stopped the aging population and rising unemployment. The unemployment rate in the country in 2010 was approximately 12–13 % of the economically active population [1].

Social guarantees are funded mainly by taxpayers. There are high not only indirect and individual income taxes, but also the social contributions of entrepreneurs. For example, if the US social contributions make up only 6,3 %, in France – 19,3 % of GDP.

Burden on workers fall pensions and unemployment benefits. Thus, the French keep working pensioners and the unemployed, and some companies working one holds not only himself and his family, but at least two seniors. It should be noted that high social security exist only in the public sector. The difference between public and private sector cost is not only in the level of wages and guarantees.

France has long formed almost negative attitude towards private enterprise. Public service until now considered the most promising, and it all aspiring French. Due to the high wages and social security complex in France even such popular professions in the public sector of the economy that are considered demeaning in other countries, such workers in construction, laborers and others.

Access to public service for foreigners is closed. Higher education institutions of the country also focused on training civil servants. Even in the field of research progress state supports, subsidized public sector and venture business as the engine of scientific and technical progress and application of technologies is not encouraged.

The state does not pay much attention to the development of the technological base. Public officials are not interested in the release of high-paying jobs as a result of new technology and new management practices. The French model of management as a result suffers from inefficiency, arbitrariness and encouraging corruption among government officials, and naturally hinders scientific progress [1].

Characteristic of France is also brain drain. In higher education prepared mainly government officials. The isolation of higher and professional education on issues of private business leads to the fact that graduates not finding work in the public sector remain out of work, cannot find work. As a result, the most promising and educated youth finds demand in the labor market and prefer to work abroad. For example, in 2007 a fifth of French graduates chose better than in France and better paying jobs (with low taxes) in the US and the UK [5].

The problem of public finances in the country is such that financial indicators meet Maastricht convergence criteria for monetary 3% deficit and 60% government debt to GDP. However modern social market system of the country is able to degrade over time these figures. This is reflected in the fact that economic growth is slowing, employment is shrinking, the number of pensioners and the level of social incomes rise. Formed balance of the financial system can be broken if the government economic policy will not be amended. This reduces the competitiveness of France and in the world and in the European economy. The high cost of the French workforce makes production unprofitable in France and for domestic and foreign companies. They seek to find a country with a more favorable level of taxation and a more flexible labor market. There is no incentive in the country and for the private sector, which currently serves as the engine of the economy in almost all developed countries [3].

Thus, the social-market model of the French economy needs change. In the 1990s. France’s economy has experienced two stages of reform. The first phase of reforms was associated with an attempt to introduction into the economy of neoconservatism (A. Juppé reform). The task of reforming the social sector neoconservative included: to overcome the crisis of the social system of the French economy, reduce social security number; reach the level criteria of the Maastricht Treaty fiscal position of countries preparing to introduce the euro; implement tax reform; to combat unemployment, increasing labor market flexibility [2].

This program is most concerned civil servants and their loss meant for former high social guarantees. Civil servants were against the reforms, and it caused a wave of protests across the country. Private sector support conversion, but failed to act as consolidated as unions of public servants. The reform was suspended. The only program that was carried out was privatization. Conducted tax reform and introduced a new procedure for immigration.

So many years of experience providing incentives encourage public authorities to hold consumerism when citizens around the country rely on. Created to support their social programs often do not have financial security and effective mechanisms for implementation. To eliminate these drawbacks, the possibilities of introducing state orders (contracts), cooperation agreements, equity subsidies, preferential loans, tendering, involving non-governmental and commercial organizations are discussed.

Sources and literature

  1. Григораш Г. В. Системи соціального страхування зарубіжних країн : навч. посіб. / Г. В. Григораш, Т. Ф. Григораш. В. Я. Олійник, І. Т. Субачов. – К. : Центр учб. літ-ри, 2008. – С. 118‒121.
  2. Дорошко М. С. Романомовні держави Західної Європи : Франція, Іспанія, Португалія, Італія. Країнознавство : навч. посіб. / М. С. Дорошко, Р. А. Кривонос, В. П. Крижанівський. – К. : ВПЦ «Київ. ун-т», 2009. – С. 151‒173.
  3. Огляд економіки Франції (2015) [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу :
  4. Островерская Е. Трансформация социально-экономической модели Франции / Е. Островерская // Мировая экономика и международные отношения. – 2016. – № 4. – С. 40–49.
  5. Рубинский Ю. Демографические проблемы Франции / Ю. Рубинский [Электронный ресурс]. – Режим доступа : 0359/analitphp.

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