Going Fast, Going Slow

Vincent-Peillon-contre-decrochage-scolaireTo what extent should a government consult with the wider society before implementing a policy?  When, if at all, should commissions and reports take evidence and write wordy tomes that are published, digested, discussed and chewed over before the government drafts legislation, on which the parliament cogitates for months on end?  Such is the dilemma faced by all governments, and the Hollande administration is no exception.

Except that in the past month, the Socialist government in France has managed to anger those who want to go fast, and those who prone going slow.  How has the government managed to get in such a mess over process, and does it ultimately matter? Continue reading

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The Battle for Europe

An oddly uneasy handshake betrays how the two countries see the other

An oddly uneasy handshake betrays how the two countries see the other

In the first of two posts looking at the Hollande government foreign policy, we’ll take a look at the new approach to European policy that is becoming clear within the Socialist administration.  It is an approach that tries to distinguish itself from the contradictory policies of Nicolas Sarkozy, with its driving aspect being the fictitious personal proximity between him and the German Chancellor.  And yet it is an approach that is both unclear and confused, both in its goals and the means of achieving them.  This is perhaps fortuitous, because the immediate future of the EU is also unclear and confused. Continue reading