In announcing the approximation between GDF and Suez, Dominique de Villepin made a courageous and informed decision. For what supposed to irrefutable logic State should renounce to intervene in the large current tactics in the market of energy What is the challenge of any active role of the States in the global competition between companies The good spirits who denounce the economic patriotism are not passing next to the sense of history
The modern State cannot be summarized in a simple power of police. It has rights in the market, in the interest of the nation. It is thus legitimate to support businesses as the national interest is at stake. In this case, the passage under foreign control of a great industrialist of the national history justified his reaction.
Is the French State in error All the major States of the world, starting by the United States, but also China, the India and the Japan argue their nationals companies. Legislation Exon - Florio Provision, adopted in the United States in 1988, allows the US President on the basis of a report prepared by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, to suspend or prohibit any purchase of US companies participating national security by a foreign investor. It is on the basis of this legislation that many operations have been blocked across the Atlantic.
Is the French State in error within a sector such as energy This is a strategic sector. All major European countries have their national champion: EDF France, E.ON and RWE in Germany, Enel in Italy, until and including Gas Natural en Spain. States without national champions are not organizing a real security. Need be recalled that it is in the same national interest that the countries of Latin America today claim control of their industrial fate after years of liberal globalization
The size of these national champions is giant, because of the energy sector is a highly capital-intensive sector. To prepare the energy supply of the future, companies must invest in new power plants of production, as show EDF, which has scheduled 12 billion euros of investment by 2008. This size of giants, consubstantial with a capacity of investment, States must naturally help, therefore that it is the citizens who benefit from later.
Should the French State, finally, expect an initiative from the European Commission Industrial policy is not conduct at European level. The European Commission conducted a competition policy. It wants to impose the most demanding rules of transparency in all markets and autonomy of all public and private operators in all markets. She is not interested in the question of industrial supply. When EDF is separated from the public transport network, the European Commission has asked EDF to repay the State EUR 1.2 billion, because the tax treatment to the public undertaking on this assignment would have been constituting State aid. The European Commission not welcomed to see emerge a new organization of EDF, which, unlike most large European manufacturers, has never faltered in terms of transport security.
For what logic should the registry of the competition only hold the future of the world Market crisis called return of the State for the defence of the nation. The modern economy can be based on the coexistence of a role of the market and a role of the State. The energy sector today gives the example: the market may be the place of the efficiency of the offers, the State must ensure the energy independence of the nation. This objective through its intervention in support of its nationals companies.