Since its creation by Claude Bébéar in 2000, Institut Montaigne has invested many fields, covering the main challenges facing France: diversity, education, higher education, vocational training, the restructuring and financing of welfare services, pension reform, and many more. Education and higher education were among the first subjects to be part of its work program. In 2001, Institut Montaigne advocated genuine autonomy for universities. In 2010, priority was given to primary school, by creating Agir pour l'école, a spin-off whose ambition is to find solutions against school failure and inequalities.
The theme of diversity also quickly became a priority for Institut Montaigne: in 2004 with its Diversity Charter, then in 2011 and 2014 with the publication of two books by Gilles Kepel, Banlieue de la République and Passion française. Institut Montaigne continued this dynamic with the completion in 2015 of an unprecedented survey on religious discrimination in hiring, and then, in 2016, with a report on French Islam, steered by Hakim El Karoui.
Resolutely European, Institut Montaigne has made several commitments to the European project, with about 20 publications on the subject to its credit. Surrounded by renowned international experts, Institut Montaigne also seeks to impact France's foreign policy. Its policy paper on the conflict in Syria in 2017 and the report on French foreign policy in the MENA region that same year are two examples of this. This international dynamic, fostered by Henri de Castries, our President since 2015, is one of Institut Montaigne's major development priorities for the coming years.
Committed to strengthening democracies, positioned against cumulative mandates in 2002, for the restructuring of French prisons in 2008 and the defense of freedoms in 2010 and 2012, Institut Montaigne strongly mobilized during the last election campaigns. This can be seen in the quantitative analyses of candidates' programs for the 2012 and 2017 French presidential elections, the 2014 municipal elections and the 2015 regional elections. Institut Montaigne also produced the first “serious game” on public finance available to the public, encouraging citizens to understand in real time the impact of macroeconomic and political measures on the State budget.
In the area of employment (2013 and 2015), social dialogue (2015), labor laws (2016), vocational training (2017) and apprenticeship (2017), Institut Montaigne proposes ambitious reforms, all aimed at improving competitiveness and social cohesion. On healthcare, Institut Montaigne distinguished itself by organizing a citizens' conference on the reform of the French system. It enabled 25 citizens to come together to propose ambitious actions to ensure the sustainability of the French healthcare system. This commitment was strengthened in 2017 with the creation of the first sectoral program entirely devoted to healthcare policy.
So many subjects and so many opportunities for Institut Montaigne to renew the forms of its contributions and to promote its recommendations over time.