Regulatory Reform in France

Regulatory reforms have been undertaken in France to bring about much needed changes in its economic and regulatory systems. State control had remained a significant feature in the regulatory system of France. The reforms aim to create a more liberal system with lesser state control.
The regulatory system reforms in France have enabled the shift towards a laissez-faire economy. The objective is to open up the market and allow economic agents to interact freely in the market. However instead of a radical transformation, a moderate approach has been adopted.

A process of decentralization and deregulation is being carried out through the reforms.

A process of decentralization and deregulation is being carried out through the reforms.
The regulatory reforms have been undertaken with the objective to improve –
Relations with state services.

The regulations are a result of two major concerns France had been faced with – the high cost of regulations coupled with the fact that they were deterrent to the free growth of the economy and the dynamics prevailing in the European economy.
Regulatory Reforms in France during 1970s
The regulatory reforms during the 1970s were undertaken with the primary objective of fostering better relations between public services and constituents.

The major highlights of these reforms were –
Creating the post of Ombudsman – 1973.
Adopting the ‘silence is consent’ norm regarding permission for construction – 1977.
Laws addressing the issue of access to documents pertaining to administration. – 1978, 1979.

Regulatory Reforms in France during the 1980s
The prime objective of regulatory reforms in the 1980s was to encourage simplification of regulatory measures. The integration of the European economy was a key factor of these reforms. One of the major outcomes of the reforms during this decade was the gradual liberalization of the French economy. Important reform decisions like the relaxation of controls of the financial markets, relaxation of price controls, etc. contributed to the process of liberalization. As a result of these reforms, by the end of the decade the need was felt to reform and modernize the state.
Regulatory Reforms in France during 1990s
The regulatory reforms of the 1990s focused on concentrating state control to necessary sectors and emphasizing on delegation of responsibilities. This was a step further towards a market oriented economy, a bigger shift from the traditional state-controlled economy of France. In 1991 the report of the Council of State highlighted the inadequate quality of regulations. In 1994 the PICQ report emphasized the need for overall reforms for the state. It was realized that a large number of regulations was of little use. In 1996 the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) was initiated as a result of the PICQ report.

A modernization strategy was adopted which focused on three major themes –
Financial Management
Human Resource Management
Quality Regulations


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Last Updated on : 26th June 2013

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