The Prime Minister presented the fourth round of “simplification” measures – 90 for businesses and 80 for individuals – as part of a plan to cut red tape launched in 2013 by President François Hollande.
France is notorious for its burdensome bureaucracy, which is one of the major sources of grumbling from both business leaders and members of the public.
While all the paperwork has been known to impact on a person’s sanity it also has serious implications for the economy, with the OECD warning last year that France must simplify life if it wants its economy to recover.
Since 2013 over 600 measures have been proposed as part of the “simplification shock”. Only 55 percent of them are currently in place but the government insists 70 percent will have been implemented by spring.
The latest round of measures includes efforts by the government to make it easier to enter certain professions like undertakers and horse breeding; for example, a licence is no longer necessary for those professionals whose job it is to collect horse’s sperm. In future, a letter from the vet will do.
The government has also launched on an online simulator that will allow smaller businesses to calculate exactly how much it will cost to take a new employee on.
Other measures will see the time limits on planning certificates extended as well as building site regulations eased for certain smaller projects.
As for individuals, many of the measures, as was the case for the previous changes, simply look at moving everything online and cutting down on paper.
So filling out forms to get a driving licence can be done online and the process of drivers losing points for offences will need to be done online in future too.
Measures have also been introduced to help expats returning to France, with an online help guide to go live soon. Changes have also been made to make it easier for those returning to France to get back into the tax system.
Although we can imagine that one might not go down too well.
Measures have also been taken to help people find jobs, with an online simulator called “La bonne boite” (The good firm) allowing job seekers to find out which companies are actually recruiting so they can better target their job hunting.
The measures may not sound like life-changing reforms, but Clotilde Valter the minister behind the latest round of simplification believes they will make a difference.
“When you read these measures, you think ‘Oh la la! It’s peanuts, but they will create activity,” she said.