MIL-OSI Translation: Minutes of the Council of Ministers of May 31, 2024.

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MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –

LAW PROJECT

APPROVAL OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR 2023

The Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, the Minister of Labor, Health and Solidarity and the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, responsible for public accounts, presented a bill to approve the social security accounts for the year 2023.

For the second consecutive year, and in accordance with the provisions of organic law no. 2022-354 of March 14, 2022 relating to social security financing laws, the approval of the social security accounts for the past year is subject of a separate text, which is presented, in conjunction with the Spring Social Security Accounts Commission (CCSS) and in the same timetable as the spring evaluation: it therefore contributes to the best information of Parliament. Previously, the accounts for the previous year were presented in the fall, in the first part of the social security financing bill for the following year.

In 2023, the balance of compulsory basic social security schemes, including the old age solidarity fund, stands at -10.8 billion euros. In particular, three branches are in deficit: the health branch at -11.1 billion euros, the old-age branch at -2.6 billion euros, and the autonomy branch at -0.6 billion euros. Conversely, the family and work accidents and occupational diseases branches have a surplus of 1 billion euros and 1.4 billion euros respectively.

Compared to 2022, the balance of compulsory basic social security schemes, including the old-age solidarity fund, improves by 8.9 billion euros, representing a reduction of almost half of the deficit for the year former. This is mainly explained by the very sharp reduction in expenses linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, despite dynamic service expenses, driven by inflation. At the same time, in 2023, inflation reached 4.8% on annual average, in the sense of the consumer price index excluding tobacco, which supported the level of revenue, the private sector payroll subject to contributions having increased by 5.7% over the year.

However, this improvement in the balance is less than anticipated in the social security financing law for 2024, since it is 2.1 billion euros lower than forecast. This gap is explained by significant losses in revenue compared to forecasts, both in terms of contributions and contributions based on earned income and in tax revenue, in connection with the economic slowdown observed at the end of the year 2023. Expenditure was controlled compared to forecasts. In particular, the level of expenditure falling under the national health insurance expenditure objective is close to that rectified in the social security financing law for 2024, the exceptional aid paid to health establishments having been partly compensated by regulatory measures and lower spending than anticipated on other sub-objectives.

In this context, the Government reiterates its determination to continue, within the framework of the next social security financing law, the reduction of the social security deficit, in order to guarantee the sustainability of the financing of our social protection model.

COMMUNICATIONS

THE REFORM OF PUBLIC AUDIOVISUAL GOVERNANCE

The Minister of Culture presented a communication relating to the reform of public broadcasting governance.

The role of public broadcasting is to guarantee all French people preserved access to reliable and independent information and quality cultural programming. Also, the public audiovisual service participates in the development of a common civic culture and the defense of our sovereignty.

However, today, and for several years, it is facing ever stronger competition and the emergence of new players. This competition is accelerated in particular by technological revolutions and new uses.

The reform carried out by the Minister of Culture, and desired by the President of the Republic, aims to give the public audiovisual service the means to continue to accomplish its mission in the service of all French people in this new context.

Indeed, the audience results reveal an aging of the public. If this trend crosses all traditional media, it particularly affects public media. The average age of viewers increased from 47 years in 2006 to 58 years in 2023. Over the same period, the average age of France Télévisions viewers increased from 54 to 64 years. The average age of Radio France listeners is now 56 years old. Furthermore, even though local networks constitute the heart of public service and the French are, more than ever, in demand for local information, France Bleu’s audiences have fallen below 5%. context where social networks maintain divisions and clash with our cultural and informational sovereignty, the Minister of Culture underlined the central role of public broadcasting in continuing to offer access to diverse cultural content and quality democratic debate thanks to reliable, strong and independent information.

It is with real coordination and effective pooling of investments that public broadcasting will be able to invest more in digital technology, content, programs and will effectively fulfill its public service mission for the benefit of all French people in the coming years.

The Minister of Culture stressed that the strategy of “cooperation from below” implemented in recent years between different societies must be strengthened and accelerated to meet the challenges and achieve the expected objectives.

For almost ten years, several reports from the National Assembly and the Senate have underlined the need for a change in the governance of the sector, and the establishment of a common management team to lead an ambitious joint strategy for the service of a strong public audiovisual sector.

Continuing this work, Senator Laurent Lafon submitted a bill aimed at the creation of a public audiovisual holding company, adopted in the Senate in June 2023.

The minister wished to continue this parliamentary work by proposing to extend the creation of the holding company through a merger of public audiovisual companies on January 1, 2026. The cultural affairs committee of the National Assembly adopted this project to result in a unique company.

The advantage of the single company is to substantially reduce the burdens linked to cooperation between different legal structures, and to easily implement a fully coordinated strategy. This is the same observation that was made in 2009 at the time of the creation of the single company France Télévisions, following a less unified governance plan which had revealed its ineffectiveness.

This project will make it possible to strengthen the existing priorities of our public audiovisual sector, which are youth, local services and information, the results of which are currently incomplete.

Regarding youth, it is about offering more innovative and more visible editorial content on new distribution channels where more and more young people are getting information, and sometimes, experiencing misinformation.

On proximity, the objective is to deploy an offer closer to residents by concretizing the merger of the France Bleu and France 3 networks thanks to more complete coverage of the life of the territories and more in-depth broadcasts, which are not limited not just a filmed morning show and a common website.

On information, to facilitate access for all to reliable and quality information, it will be a question of accelerating the multichannel integration of franceinfo, with a strong presence on the networks.

Finally, the minister hopes that governance reform will be accompanied by securing funding for the sector in order to guarantee its independence. The Government will support the organic law proposal tabled by deputies Quentin Bataillon and Jean-Jacques Gaultier.

COMMEMORATIONS OF 80 YEARS OF THE LANDINGS AND THE LIBERATION

The Secretary of State to the Minister of the Armed Forces, responsible for veterans and memory, presented a communication relating to the commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the landings and the liberation.

Placed under the supervision of the Ministry of the Armed Forces and the State Secretariat for Veterans and Memory, the Liberation Mission takes the form of a public interest group (GIP). The GIP brings together as its founding members the State, represented by eight ministries (the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of the Interior and Overseas Territories, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of national education and youth, the ministry of higher education and research, the ministry of ecological transition and territorial cohesion, the ministry of culture, the ministry delegated to the minister of the economy, of finance and industrial and digital sovereignty, responsible for businesses, tourism and consumption), and three public establishments (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, National Office for Combatants and Victims of War, Order of the Liberation). Foundations and combat and memorial associations, local authorities, and companies wishing to support commemorations then joined it.

The Mission is responsible for the foreshadowing, organization and promotion of the commemorative program. She therefore proposed the list of events to be commemorated and constructed the course of the ceremonies, bringing together local actors and associations, as well as allied states, while ensuring that they reached a wide audience. It also ensured the mobilization of all associated ministries, responsible for setting up commemorative actions in their respective areas of competence, aimed at specific audiences, for example, and in particular youth, or to recall the action of a ministerial department in the Liberation.

Three words sum up the action of the Mission: honor, transmit and bring together. It must bring the spirit of 80 years to life.

The ceremonial program, the first highlight of which is the commemorations of the Normandy landings, is accompanied by a multiplicity of initiatives, carried out by the Mission, its members, communities and numerous associations. So that the commemorations are those of all the territories, departmental Liberation committees were installed by the prefects. They have labeled 2,000 projects developed by educational establishments (including agricultural education) on the one hand, and associations or local authorities on the other.

The Ministry of the Armed Forces and the State Secretariat for Veterans and Memory have delegated a budget of 2.5 million euros to the department prefects to support these initiatives. The Ministry of Culture, for its part, is involved in an operation to collect archives that the French may have created during the war; the defense historical service and the defense audiovisual production and communication establishment also contribute. The Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs organizes temporary exhibitions on the Liberation in several of its embassies or consulates. These are just a few examples of solid interdepartmental mobilization. With the Minister Delegate for Local Authorities and Rural Affairs, mayors were encouraged to give public spaces and places the names of veterans or resistance fighters. The Paris Mint and La Poste are also mobilized, with the issue of coins or special stamps on the landings in Normandy or Provence.

In terms of commemorative ceremonies, the Mission’s work began with the commemoration of the liberation of Corsica, in September 2023, and will end in 2025. The commemorations of the Normandy landings, by the scale traditionally taken on by anniversaries ten years, will constitute its first major achievement, with a broad commemorative program, which must particularly highlight the last veterans. This takes place over three days. It will make it possible to pay tribute to fighters of all nationalities coming from across the Channel, by sea and by air, during the international ceremony which will be held on June 6 at the Omaha Beach site, as well as during the national ceremonies organized by the allies with which the French authorities are associated. The Government also wanted tributes to be paid to the French fighters from the interior as well as to the Norman civilian victims of the fighting, who paid a heavy price at the launch of the liberation of the national territory. Symbolic moments and places will also be commemorated: the return of republican sovereignty to Bayeux, the port of Cherbourg, as the bridgehead of a new Way of Freedom.

The ceremonies presided over by the President of the Republic during the next ten days are:

June 5, 2024:

Tribute to the French maquisards and SAS, in Plumelec (Morbihan); Tribute to the civilian victims of the war, in Saint-Lô (Manche); Tribute to those shot at Caen prison, Caen (Calvados).

June 6, 2024:

International ceremony, Omaha Beach, Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer (Calvados).

June 7, 2024:

Ceremony of the return of republican sovereignty, Bayeux (Calvados); Commemoration in Cherbourg, Port de la Liberté (Manche).

June 10, 2024: in the presence of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany:

Commemoration of the Tulle massacre (Corrèze); Commemoration of the massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane (Haute-Vienne).

On June 6, our allies organize national ceremonies in the cemeteries where the remains of soldiers killed during the fighting of the landings and the Battle of Normandy are gathered. The President of the Republic will thus be alongside the American and British heads of state, the Prime Minister with his Canadian counterpart, the ministers of the armed forces, Europe and foreign affairs, the delegate ministers, with the Minister of Europe and foreign affairs, responsible for foreign trade, attractiveness, the French-speaking world and French people abroad, and responsible for Europe will respectively work alongside the Norwegian, Dutch, Danish and Polish authorities.

The commemorations will continue with the ceremonies of June 18 commemorating the appeal of General de Gaulle then, during the summer, those of the landing of Provence, on August 15, or the liberation of Paris, on August 25.

INDIVIDUAL MEASURES

The Council of Ministers adopted the following individual measures:

On the proposal of the Prime Minister:

– Ms. Maya BACACHE-BEAUVALLET, associate professor, is appointed master advisor to the Court of Auditors (outside tours), from July 1, 2024;

– Ms. Muriel LACOUE-LABARTHE, State administrator of the transitional grade, is appointed senior advisor to the Court of Auditors (out of turn), from July 1, 2024;

– Mr. Antoine GOBELET, State administrator of the transitional grade, is appointed master advisor to the Court of Auditors (out of turn), from July 1, 2024;

– Mr. Guillaume BLANCHOT, 2nd grade State administrator, is appointed master advisor to the Court of Auditors (out of turn), from July 1, 2024.

On the proposal of the Minister of National Education and Youth and the Minister of Higher Education and Research:

– Mr. Benoît DELAUNAY, State Councilor, is appointed rector of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur academic region, rector of the Aix-Marseille academy.

On the proposal of the Minister of the Armed Forces:

Various individual measures were adopted concerning general officers of the Army, the Air and Space Force and the Defense Infrastructure Service.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI