Let’s take inspiration from COR to reform unemployment insurance

The Macronists on the left are uncomfortable. Indeed, the first two explosive reforms of Macron’s second five-year term are clearly marked on the right. The first, on unemployment insurance, aims to tighten the provision of compensation to encourage job seekers to accept the 700,000 jobs – according to Bruno Le Maire, the economy minister – that are not being filled. And the pension reform, which will push back the legal retirement age, is criticized by the entire left because it would hit low-paid wage earners who started working young. Two reforms which have nevertheless been implemented Olivier Dussopt, Labor Minister, defecting from the PS and President of Progress Areas… Not simple.

With regard to unemployment insurance, the leaders of the Territories of Progress, this party that brings together the “Left Macronists”, want to make their voices heard. Without questioning reform, they at least want to quell the controversy between the right, who accuse our system of being lax on the unemployed, and the left, who decry the holes in our social safety net. In this column published by Challenges, they formulate an interesting proposal: to set up an “Unemployment Insurance Council” on the model of COR, the Pensions Orienteringsrådet, which would let the debates suffer under the scrutiny of indisputable experts. Not sure that’s enough. The work of the Committee of the Regions has not managed to stop the heated dispute over the pension reform. But at least they provided a valuable and widely shared statistical knowledge base about our system. It already is.

Thierry Fabre


Create an unemployment fund board

“The debate over unemployment insurance is squarely pitted against those who decry its generosity versus those who lament its inadequacies. Both camps often rely on anecdotes, test cases, or smashing scams, but rarely on robust facts, statistically well-established, the only ones able to legitimize rules that apply to all. This disturbing situation is logical, insofar as neither the indicators nor the governance make it possible to assess in a clear and precise way how the current system works. Unédic is contained in less than ten lines, and no government has ever produced a single one of the annual reports on the administration of unemployment insurance that it is required by law to publish. Nor is there any systematic, detailed, accurate, cost-free public monitoring data that is likely to shed light on the effects of these unemployment insurance rules, which weigh 40 billion euros per year.

All detailed thinking is drowned in platitudes

When you can’t say anything, you can also say anything without much risk of being contradicted. This is the problem: Everyone has an opinion – generally bleeding heart – about unemployment insurance, a device that is nonetheless eminently complex, all put on the same level. Any slightly elaborate reflection quickly drowns in platitudes, received ideas, stigmatization and a plethora of solutions to problems that are poorly described at best. Why bother with reality or its absence when a few performative arguments of authority will suffice? The adaptation of rights to the situation or the recent controversy about job cuts is no exception to these rules. The problem linked to the poor balance between supply and demand for jobs, to the organization of life, the brakes linked to the costs of transport, housing or the hub of employment and education for seniors, remain more and more often in gray areas.

However, there is good practice from which we can draw inspiration to improve our social security fund system. If there is one thing to import from Canada, it is the Employment Insurance Commission, a tripartite organization created more than 75 years ago, which under its very broad mandate (definition of contributions and rules for compensation, revision of parameters, etc.) publishes. an extremely comprehensive “monitoring and assessment report” every year.

Closer to home, with more limited powers, is the Pensions Guidance Council (COR), where the social partners, pensioners, families, concerned administrations and experts are represented. Since 2000, its purpose has been to share facts, analysis, provide insight and an ongoing report on the pension system. In these two cases, contrary to what happens with unemployment insurance in our country, a factual basis has thus been formed that is at the same time very complete, well-established, accessible to everyone, difficult to dispute, which draws a universe of possibilities. This does not prevent everyone from having their opinion, their values, their vision of what should or should not be done and the resulting priorities. The debate is therefore placed where it should be, on the solutions and not the facts.

Adoption of COR’s model, the Pension Orientation Council

It is necessary to establish an Unemployment Insurance Council, a reflection and evaluation commission whose composition, tasks and powers will be based on those of the Regional Committee. The social partners could feel deprived of control over the most important parity system that survives in our social system. A multi-party council The provision of specifications close to those of the Committee of the Regions seems to be a balanced option that guarantees continuous observation of the operational management of the scheme, a common diagnosis, more consensual negotiation goals, all of which nurture a more rational and peaceful. Joint management would regain discretion, where the state, for its part, ensures the objectified and rigorous management that it says it wants, without, however, practicing it.

Aude de Castet (Normandy Regional Delegate and National Spokesperson for Territories of Progress) and Jean-Marc Pasquet (Ile-de-France regional delegate and potential national delegate for areas of progress).

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