French president Emmanuel Macron made various proposals for European Union reform in a speech at the Sorbonne university in Paris today. They can be divided into three categories: difficult, doable and low-hanging fruit. Read more
Emmanuel Macron Suffered Two Setbacks This Weekend
French president Emmanuel Macron suffered two setbacks this weekend:
His centrist party, La République En Marche!, won only 29 seats in the Senate. 170 out of 348 seats were contested. The center-right Republicans remain the largest party in the upper chamber, followed by the mainstream Socialists.
The outcome of the German election means the liberal Free Democrats are almost certain to be part of Angela Merkel’s next coalition government and they are skeptical of Macron’s proposals for deeper EU integration. Read more
Macron, Unperturbed by Falling Popularity, Pushes Labor Reforms in France
The government of Emmanuel Macron has introduced its first labor reforms in France. They include:
Capping the damages judges can award to workers who have been wrongfully terminated at one month’s pay for every year of employment.
Raising the compensation for workers who are laid off for legitimate economic reasons by 25 percent.
Enabling employers to bypass union-dominated workers’ councils and call company-wide referendums on sensitive topics like overtime.
Allowing multinationals to lay off workers at loss-making French subsidiaries even if the foreign-based parent company is profitable.
After a summer of consultations, two of France’s three largest trade unions — the Democratic Confederation of Labor and Workers’ Force — have given their consent to the reforms. The hardline General Confederation of Labor remains opposed and has called a nationwide strike for September 12.
No matter the resistance unions put up, the liberalizations are almost certain to be rubber-stamped by parliament, which is controlled by Macron’s party. Read more