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18 November 2021
As an extension of the first series of works published on 21 October, the Court of Accounts
today presents four new papers on major public policies: power generation choices, the rail
network, human resources management in the national police and housing policy. Still
adopting a holistic and targeted approach, these educational publications add to the work
already contradicted with the relevant authorities and organisations. The Court thus
identifies, on the basis of the major structural challenges of the next five or ten years,
avenues of action likely to optimise the effectiveness of public policies, while consolidating
French growth in the long term. With the aim of strengthening the Court’s contribution to
public debate at a key democratic momen
t, these works are at the heart of the institution’s
constitutional mission: to guarantee citizens impartial information in support of objective
data. A third
and final
series of documents will be published in December.
Power generation choices: anticipating and controlling technological, technical and financial
Almost 70% of
France’s power
is now generated by nuclear reactors, two-thirds of which will have
ceased production by 2050. To renew this important share of our power generation capacity, new
means of production
which have to be “low
carbon” in line with France’s climate commitments –
will require not only considerable financial investment, but also significant construction time. This
situation calls for urgent decisions to be made now, aimed at guaranteeing the needs of an increasing
energy supply. With that in mind, the Court of Accounts considers it necessary to hold a debate on the
choice of power generation, which constitutes a technological, technical and industrial challenge, and
the consequences of which in terms of employment and regional development will reverberate for
decades to come.
Read the paper
The French rail network: significant changes, but choices will have to be made
Although rail reforms have gradually made substantial improvements to the French rail network, they
have nevertheless failed to overcome a number of structural weaknesses, which the health crisis has
greatly aggravated. Despite an extensive regional network and efficient railway lines, the national rail
network (which covers nearly 30,000 km) is struggling to emerge from its state of degradation. Funding
for management and renovation is still not guaranteed. The Court emphasises that choices still need
to be made to safeguard a network for which strong environmental and societal ambitions have been
Read the paper
Human resources management at the heart of difficulties within the national police
For several years, the national police have been facing major security challenges and high expectations
from citizens. To cope with this, they have enjoyed significant additional resources, as evidenced by
the 21% increase in its payroll in ten years, and the increased support from new security players
(municipal police, reservists, private security firms). However, the results achieved, particularly in
terms of presence on the streets or solving crime, have not seen any significant improvement, and are
even deteriorating. The work recently published on the subject by the Court underlines that better use
and renewed management of the national police’s human resources are necessary. Several levers of
action must therefore be mobilised as a priority: allocation of staff better adapted to the needs of the
regions and the assignments, an organisational structure better suited to operational needs, as well as
reinforced and modernised training. The Court also considers that pooling between the police and the
gendarmerie could improve the quality of the service provided to citizens.
Read the paper
Restoring housing policy coherence by adapting to new challenges
Between the post-war reconstruction priorities, pursued in the 1970s, and current human realities,
housing policy is struggling to achieve ambitious objectives that are not always compatible with each
other. In a context of worsening public finances, there are many challenges: better targeting of aid and
beneficiaries of social housing, consideration of changes in household needs, adaptation of housing to
the ageing population and to environmental protection, and better coordination of all stakeholders. In
light of this observation, the Court outlines three levers of action likely to improve both the
performance of public spending in favour of housing, and the rebalancing of responsibilities between
the State and local government. A third lever involves favouring a more qualitative approach, which
would take more account of new social and environmental priorities, rather than one that aims to set
national quantitative targets for the construction of housing.
Read the paper
Emmanuel Kessler
Communication Director
+33 (0)1 42 98 55 62
Julie Poissier
Head of press relations
+33 (0)1 42 98 97 43
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