New Flophouse Address:

You will find all the posts, comments, and reading lists (old and some new ones I just published) here:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Backpedalling on the Circulaire Guéant

Good news for year's end?  The French Minister of the Interior was on Europe 1 yesterday and, according to Le Monde, he is softening his stance:
"Clairement, je note qu'il y a des malentendus, des interrogations, a reconnu M. Guéant, et je suis résolu à avoir une concertation approfondie avec les parties prenantes […] afin que les cas de figure soient examinés et que les choses soient plus claires dans l'application." Selon lui, le gouvernement a accordé 6 500 autorisations de séjour pour des étudiants étrangers devenus salariés en 2011. Pour Hajer Gorgi, porte-parole du Collectif du 31 mai, qui a organisé une manifestation à Paris samedi, seuls 250 cas ont été réglés sur 900 recensés depuis l'entrée en vigueur de cette circulaire.
"I see clearly that there have been misunderstandings and questions," said Monsieur M. Guéant, "and I have decided to have a deep consultation with the interested that cases can be re-examined and that the implementation of the circulaire be clearer."  According to him, the government has granted 6,500 work permits for foreign students who have found work in France in 2011.  However, Hajer Gorgi, the spokesperson for the May 31 Collective who organized a demonstration in Paris Saturday, says that only 250 cases out of 900 have been resolved since the circulaire came into effect.
Please note that he does not say that the circulaire will be withdrawn completely so he has left himself some wiggle room.  That is completely understandable since France is a place where it is very rare to have people in authority admit publicly to being wrong.  It can even be downright dangerous.  So, with that in mind, we can recognize that this is a large step on his part in the right direction. Also consider that he may have been very poorly advised on this issue - he seems to have been genuinely surprised that people reacted so strongly.  Certainly he never intended it to become an international incident.

This seems to be a recurring theme when it comes to immigration issues.  Just look at the U.S. and the states of Arizona and Alabama.  If I were writing this up for an MBA class I would argue that the underlying issue is an inability to recognize and manage stakeholders.  No government or people wants to admit that some of the interested parties in immigration policy are actually outside of the state in question because that takes us straight to uncomfortable questions about sovereignty.  Questions that no one wants raised in the ramp up to a national election.


Victoria FERAUGE said...

Oh and I learned a new word thanks to French commentary on this article:

Rétropédalage= backpedalling :-)

Anonymous said...


I don't know if the following petition will have any effect, but if it will talented people like me who want to work in France will get a chance...

Merci et bonne journée

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi K,

Thanks so much for the excellent link. I hope you get your chance. No country can have too many talented people.

All the best