CPE scrapped

A more detailed look at the withdrawal of the new French employment law CPE with latest updates.

Submitted by alibi on April 10, 2006

Our Montpellier correspondent reacts to the withdrawal and summarises events there this past week.

Our correspondent in Bordeaux, Jay Taylor, gives his initial reaction to the news that the CPE has been withdrawn.

The students of the University of Nantes have voted for continuation of the blocking of the Faculty of Letters, Social sciences and Languages.

Meanwhile, we understand that the private bill replacing the CPE will give assistance to any employer hiring a young person between 16 to 25 years on a CDI contract, according to certain conditions.

The decision
Jacques Chirac has announced the replacement of the CPE with a device in favour of getting disadvantaged young people into work.

"Upon a proposal from the Prime Minister and after having heard the presidents of the parliamentary groups and the persons in charge for the majority, the President of the Republic has decided to replace article 8 of the law on the equal opportunity [the CPE] with a device in favour of the professional insertion of the young people in difficulty [getting disadvantaged young people into work]", reads the official statement of the presidency.

This text was published around 10 hours, report Le Monde, after a one hour long meeting in Chiracs residency the Elysée with the Prime Minister, presidents of the two assemblies, and principal persons in charge for the parliamentary majority.

At the time of a declaration his residence, the Matignon at 10.30am CET, Domenique de Villepin confirmed Chiracs statement. "I proposed to the president the replacement of article 8 of the law on the equal opportunity by measurements in favour of the professional insertion of the young people more in difficulty", he declared, before adding that "the new private bill will be introduced as of this morning."

He noted that "the conditions necessary of confidence and serenity are met neither on the side of the young people, nor on the side of the companies to allow the application of the contract first engages".

"I wanted to act quickly, because the dramatic situation and the despair of many young people required it", it has says. "I wanted to propose a strong solution, because I have the conviction that beyond the engagement necessary of the State, only a better balance between more flexibility for the companies and more safety for the employees will enable us to break with unemployment in our country", it explained. "That was not included/understood by all, I regret it", it added.

"For several weeks, our country has known agitation. The disorders in the universities and the high schools threaten to affect the good organisation of the end of year examinations. The demonstrations on public highways endanger the safety of the young people. All that means we now needed to find a fast exit from the crisis".

The responses

  • "A historical victory after a historical mobilisation", said the president of the UNL Karl Stoeckel.
  • François Chérèque of the CFDT trade union believes that "the objective is achieved".
  • Bruno Julliard of student union UNEF now looks to "Maintain the pressure" after this "first victory".

    Earlier today
    Even this morning, pressure on the government had remained steady as CGT trady unionists took action at two French ports. About sixty occupied the harbour office at Port-de-Bouc in the Bouches du Rhone delta from 6.30am, whilst a hundred blocked activities at a port in Marseilles.

    In Clermont-Ferrand, between 150 and 250 students and high-school pupils occupied Monday morning of the tracks of the SNCF railway station.

    Furthermore, days of action had been called for the 11th, 13th and 18th of April by the national coordination meeting of university and high school students

  • Comments


    16 years 5 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Submitted by Anonymous on October 9, 2006

    archive : s0metim3s :: CPE - past, not passed :: April :: 2006
    April 10th, 2006 | 2:16 pm

    […] Scrapped! So says the President. Excited as I am by the sense in which the intransigence of the street has shown itself to be a match for Republic of the National Accounts, the matter has yet to play itself out. […]


    16 years 5 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Submitted by Anonymous on October 9, 2006

    Comandante Gringo
    April 10th, 2006 | 6:14 pm

    What’s the rush with introducing some other un-thought-out new law? Why any new law at all?

    I’ll tell you why: it’s because the Rightist regime cannot allow itself shown to be defeated. Which means they still intend to win this thing — just some other way.
    In other words: this is simply just another trick.
    And anyone taking any of this guff at face value is being fooled.

    These sectors continuing the struggle in spite of this feint are on the right path. Now is not the time for complacency and self-congratulation.


    16 years 5 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Submitted by Anonymous on October 9, 2006

    April 10th, 2006 | 9:24 pm

    Each coin has two sides.
    The French people, or its most vocal part with powers to make a change, has expressed their deep disssatisfaction with the rule called CPE.

    For clarity reasons, this CPE proposal was a product of an action of the very limited circle of “interested parts”.
    Any libertarian and any real supporter of the free citizens should be warried by any such approach to introduce such measures in a way strange to democracy or libertarian ideals.

    The second point: If this meassure is effective and this measure should provide more jobs then this measure, as aimed to youth only, is deeply unjust and unnecessary restrictive.

    Such measure, if beneficial, should be indeed introduced for all citizens. Why should be 50 plus generation denied such benefits as the CPE. I think that there are some European Communities laws that do not allow for any age discriminations. The CPE law should then consequently upheld to a general law. According to thinking behind the CPE intentions, such measures should make a freedom for companies to hire and fire with a benefits of more jobs.
    Consequently the CPE should be either abolished or be applied for all ages.

    The third point:
    Any such law should pass a vote by lawmakers, elected politicians in the Parliament, which can be exposed to legal “lobbying”.

    This is still a citizen’s right as individual, and a county as a sum of individuals, to freely accept or refuse any proposal as judged by individual preferences, rational and unrational. Consequently, it is natural that any law, the CPE also, can be refused.

    The fourth points:
    Frenchmen has in some situations acted in a different way the other nations.

    The French revolution happened because the old order, with the King as the power, showed a number of weaknesses in a that time changing world. The colliding and conflicting interests of several players in the French arena, and the neighbouring areas, led to a new order, individuals governing their own country, without the King. The French refused the King, the French refused a monarchy in any way, absolute or parliamentary.

    That was a difficult and painfull process but it gave the result, individuals decide over their lifes and take consequences of their decisions.

    This process was supported by the new ideals of Enligtenment.
    It should be interesting to discuss if we are not witnessing a similar process again, the French are searching of new ways for individuals to make own decisions and taking consequences for that.

    Is the age of the New Enlightment starting these days?
    Many year ago the Marxism dominated a large part of the world agenda, both in quasy communistic countries and even west democracies. Then Hayek came, with all difficulties, to be accepted. Hayek ideas dominates today the world agenda, both in west democracies and “communist countries”.
    But is that the end of development? Are new systems possible?. I think, it does not matter how much we know, our knowledge is limited.

    Probably new systems are possible, building on the experience of previous ones. With trial and error approach.
    I see the French initiative as a trial. The history shall show if it is an error or a success.