Secondly, on its content. Did we not, from the outset, place too many hopes in this reform? Previous experiences have constantly demonstrated the passionate nature of the debate on pensions. How can we then ensure that a transformation that has all the characteristics of an experiment (the only comparable example being Sweden, which took 11 years to change its system) does not create turmoil and anxiety within the society? This observation is certainly easier to make afterwards, but it had already been drawn up by the Institut Montaigne in 2016. The aim of a systemic reform is honorable, but it cannot be utopian. Consequently, having the objectives of both financial equilibrium and the alignment of schemes in the form of a universal scheme (effectively abolishing special schemes), all with a constant budget envelope (14% of French GDP devoted to pension expenditure, compared with 10% for EU countries) and, above all, while taking into account demographic changes, seemed - and still seems - to be an unsolvable equation.
"No winners, no losers"... and therefore few convinced
In trying to find the optimum solution, and in view of the (multiple) reactions of the social partners following Wednesday's announcements, Édouard Philippe did not ultimately gather the support of the crowds - to put it mildly. But two points of Édouard Philippe's speech this Wednesday should be acknowledged. The first is that the reform's guideline is maintained: a new generational pact, embodied by a universal system, with the same rules applying to MPs and farmers, civil servants, nurses, etc.