François Bayrou: “Decision-makers must remember their nationality”

The structure of energy, European cooperation, public funding, education, etc. The High Commissioner for Planning lays out his proposals for the revival of industry in France. With the conviction that it is a subject of national sovereignty: “If our economy is too dependent on external forces for essential goods, our freedom is only an appearance,” he warns.

Challenges. The war in Ukraine has highlighted the heavy dependence of France and especially European countries on Russian gas. Can we find a form of energy sovereignty in the short term?

François Bayrou This is a long term project. To no longer depend on Russian gas, Europe must develop other capacities, liquefied gas, LNG ports or storage facilities that are not currently in use, and of course nuclear, renewable, hydroelectric power, which we can expand. It will take months or even years, but it is a very important investment.

After the Covid-19 epidemic, the war in Ukraine also demonstrates the risks of too strong economic interdependence between countries. Will we witness the beginning of the end of globalization?

For several decades, we thought that these two eternal threats of epidemics and wars were over. We were wrong. These two successive crises forced France and European countries to ask themselves a question that they had not asked for a long time – the question of sovereignty. We understand that if our economies are too dependent on external forces for essential goods such as health products, energy, food, etc., our freedom is really only a facade.

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