There is hope for France!

This page is under construction

Contrary to most of the other pages on this site, this page contains ONLY GOOD NEWS!

Not everything is negative in the situation of the country and, in many domains, it is improving. I have tried to put together all these positive elements and to show that, in spite of all rigidities, illusions and mistakes, there is hope for France!

Hope for tomorrow!


After the 2008 LRU law (Loi de Renovation Universitaire), which was opposed by everybody within the university (professors, students, unions) and outside (Left Wing parties, unions) and generated long strikes, a slow process of change has started, addressing the major weaknesses of the system :

  • too many universities too small : universities are now bigger and they are now merging in Paris (Paris 4 and Paris 6 into Sorbonne Universites), in Strasbourg (Strasbourg 1 and 2), etc.

  • a dual system universities vs. Grandes Ecoles : they are now cooperating in common structures (PRES now COMUE) like Paris Sud (with Ecole Centrale de Paris, Hautes Etudes Commerciales etc.) or Lyon (with Ecole Centrale de Lyon, Ecole Management de Lyon, etc.)

  • the split between teaching and research is reduced by a closest cooperation with CNRS

  • uniformity and mediocrity : a revolutionary change(!) from 2009-2010 was to allocate State funds for research not proportionally and to all universities, good or bad, but to the best LABEX (Laboratoires d'Excellence) and it is now accepted (after a strong initial opposition, of course)

  • no selection to be admitted to college : in 2017 a new system of admission (Parcoursup) ranks the candidates and links the admission to "pre-requisited capabilities" ; the word "selection" is never used but the system is becoming normal ...

  • more to come...



  • The French constitution was designed by Charles de Gaulle and for himself ; it is not fit for weaker personalities with smaller ambitions and less authority as it seems to be the case now and there is a need for a (moderate) swing of power from the president to the parliament, which would probably improve the functioning of the institutions.

  • In 2017, the election of a 39-year old president, Emmanuel Macron, whatever the problem he may find on his way, seems to be a sign of new optimism for the country. He has a large majority in the Parliament to implement his policy (reforming the whole educational system, modernizing the State administration, supporting business, more Europe in French policy).

  • Major new laws under the Macron administration include (as of Jan.2018) :

    • Major simplifications in the Labor Code to facilitate hiring and firing
    • The beginning of a process of selection of students for the admission to college
    • A law to ensure the integrity of politicians
    • More to come
  • The proportion of women at the National Assembly was less than 10% until 1997, it reached 27% in 2012 and 40% in 2017.



  • The first recent good news was that the Socialist government stopped in January 2015 to do exactly the opposite of what's needed. It even started making tiny decisions in the right way, which showed to its leaders that a majority of the French people supported them and that a strong minority of their own party hated them. It will eventually lead to of split and a re-positioning of French political parties regarding economic issues.
  • Back to change
  • To be completed


  • Very frankly, it is hard to find something optimistic about Europe these days... However, the Brexit and the election of Donald Trump create a new situation for Europe : react together or disappear. That is was they did and this is good news. Read about Brexit.

  • Back to Europe

  • To be completed
  • After decades where any reform was postponed or forgotten, it is clear now (2014) that "something" ambitious will be done in the next few years

    • to limitate (at least) the number of mandates a politician can hold

    • to reduce by on third the number of regions and limitate (or suppress) the number of departements

    • to make it possible to develop and support experiences of cooperation and simplification of local institutions (like the merging of the City of Lyon and the Departement du Rhone)

  • Back to local institutions
  • To be completed


  • The only good news : taxes have gone so high with the Socialist government that they can only go down ...

  • Back to taxes

  • To be completed

  • France is an attractive country for investors ! Each year the attractivity rating (by EY) shows France in a very good position among its main competitors (UK and Germany). In 2019, France was ranked before Germany, in spite of the 2018 riots of the Gilets jaunes.

    A survey among foreign managers working for French international firms gives a very positive view on French management and the flexibility of French firms. Read about it.

  • More emigration. They do not emigrate in great numbers and when they do, they tend to come back even after many years. The growing proportion of young( and often talented) French people who emigrate to more positive countries (USA, China, UK) brings hope for the future.

  • Back to business
  • To be completed


  • The number of new patents is second in Europe, after Germany, and growing faster. See detailed figures.

  • According to the 2017-Barometer published by the Amereican Chamber of Commerce since the 1990s, 81% of US investors consider France's digital know-how a decisive asset for the country.

  • France has the highest rate of creation of companies among the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA) : 4 times the G7 average over a 5 year period, with the creation of 562,000 companies (+4,5% per year) (Source : RSM Study). France is " a tax heaven for start-ups" : see about Xavier Niel.

  • Among the most successful French internet firms :,, etc, all of the worth more than $ 1 bn in 2016.

  • Within a few months in 2016, several major foreign companies decided to locate in France a global research center. Among them : Google, Facebook (artificial intelligence), Intel (big data), Samsung (cloud and internet of objects), Cisco, etc.


  • Huge train strikes are common in France and traditionnaly well-tolerated. In June 2014, a two-week strike was not "striking as usual" : there was no popular understanding whatsoever of the movement from the travelers. In Spring 2018, a huge strike (roughly two days a week for three months) did not deter the government to impement a major modernization of the nation train company.

  • Back to strikes

  • To be completed



  • In 2018, the Louvre was the most visited museum in the world (10.2 million visitors, 70% from abroad), ahead of MOMA (7 m.).
  • The French cultural policy is still going strong : read about the Pass Culture.


  • In 2018, France was once more the first touristic destination in the wolrd, with 89.4 million visitors (before : USA, Spain, China, Italy). The organization of the industry has progressed but a lot more can (and probably will) be done to develop the sector which already represents more than a million jobs.

  • Why not a visit of one of the 2,500+ French industrial firms which welcome tourists (>60% non-French) ?

  • Back to business in France

  • To be completed



  • Most important : after years of terrorist attacks (since 2015) and hundreds of victims, the French reacted with dignity and wisdom and no violent racist incident against Muslims living in France has ever been recorded.

  • More to come...

Facts and figures

  • To be completed
To related pages : History (#1), Irksome France,French issues, etc...

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For more on intercultural differences, order Harriet Welty Rochefort's books :

  • "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming events, testimonials, etc..)

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