“European regulatory break”: what lies behind Emmanuel Macron’s “rhetorical bomb”


The phrase horrified environmentalists. He had already been speaking for almost an hour on Thursday…

“European regulatory break”: what lies behind Emmanuel Macron’s “rhetorical bomb”

“European regulatory break”: what lies behind Emmanuel Macron’s “rhetorical bomb”

The phrase horrified environmentalists. He had already been speaking for almost an hour on Thursday afternoon, detailing his plan of attack for green reindustrialization of the country, when Emmanuel Macron let go: “I call for a European regulatory break”. Europe has already done much more than the Americans or the Chinese in this area, he explained. We need “stability”, not “new changes in rules because we are going to lose all the players”, that we also risk “being the best bidder in terms of regulation and the lowest bidder in terms of financing “.

Take a “regulatory break”? On Twitter or on the airwaves, the fiery debate was launched. A “way off the road”, in the eyes of the advocacy director of WWF France, Pierre Cannet, “absolutely irresponsible” for the deputy of Paris Sandrine Rousseau. “We are not going to sacrifice the environmental issue in the light of the economic issue. It’s very serious, ”according to Sophie Binet, the new Secretary General of the CGT, on Franceinfo.

“A little clumsy”

For Thomas Pellerin-Carlin, director of the Europe program at the Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE), it is “a rhetorical bomb… but the rhetorical word is the most important”. “Emmanuel Macron is not asking for a break on ecology”, he judges, stressing that “the vast majority of his speech does not oppose economy and ecology”.

The expression is “a little awkward”, says Thomas Pellerin-Carlin. But basically, Emmanuel Macron “does not criticize the fact that Europe has regulated a lot, he explains that the priority for the next few years is not regulation but investment”, he considers.

“Some are looking for controversy everywhere, saying that we would like to go back to what we have done”, Emmanuel Macron was annoyed on Friday during his trip in Dunkirk . “We were the first to defend the Green Deal. I say: now let’s apply and go to the end of our legislative program, but let’s not add more, “he said. In line with the day before, therefore.

Broad European consensus

At the European Commission, a spokeswoman minimized, on Friday, the scope of the French president’s remarks made on Thursday. “It is quite normal that at certain times we are more in the proposal of new legislation and at others in the implementation, it is part of the electoral and legislative cycles,” she said. “There is a broad European consensus on the general direction of our green strategy,” she added, arguing that the Twenty-Seven regularly take stock of the progress of the Green Deal texts.

In a Commissioner’s office, we also note that “the French President has only said what we have been saying for a long time, namely that Europe cannot be just a market for green technologies purchased in countries third party, but an important and competitive place of production for these technologies”.

Remarks that echo the warning issued at the end of April in Ostend, during a Offshore Wind Summit , by Xavier Bettel. “We must absolutely avoid repeating with wind power the mistake we made with photovoltaics, in which European industrialists were swept away by their Chinese competitors,” explained the Luxembourg Prime Minister.

What has caused trouble in Brussels is the apparent proximity of Emmanuel Macron’s remarks to those of Manfred Weber, the president of the European People’s Party (EPP, conservatives) who has been calling for a moratorium on environmental texts for months. . The EPP seeks in particular to preserve the agricultural world. Last week, the EPP’s political embly meeting in Munich rejected new targets for reducing the use of pesticides and a text on the restoration of nature. The electoral success of the peasant-farmer movement in the Netherlands did not go unnoticed in Brussels, and particularly on the right.


At the Elysée, we want to be clear. “There is no question of a moratorium or the repeal of current standards or standards under discussion. France supports the Green Deal, which will fully contribute to the European Union’s climate objectives, the most ambitious in the world”.

Still, “on the political side, everyone will read what they want to read”, notes the lawyer specializing in environmental law Arnaud Gost. But he notes a “paradox” in Emmanuel Macron’s speech: “if we have everything we need, why is the head of state defending a bill that potentially contains dozens of new standards? »

However, according to the lawyer, the Head of State relayed there “an exact and legitimate concern” of economic actors: the laws and decrees are “of a complexity which is becoming unheard of”, he regrets. “And too frequent changes are bad for the economy as well as for the ecology”.

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