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Sub-prefects for the relaunch: really useful?  – France

Under prefect at the revival? “This is a shitty job. Everything is decided from above. He has no room for maneuver ”. According to this high Breton official, a fine connoisseur of the workings of the prefectural, no doubt. The ground looks to be rather mined for these new recruits, whose official mission is to support citizens, elected officials and businesses, within the framework of the Recovery plan, adopted by the state to deal with the economic crisis linked to the covid-19 pandemic.

Sandrine Michalon-Faure and Yannick Scalzotto, who have just been appointed in Brittany, however, want to be positive. “We are facilitators, we want to put a link in the interstices,” explains the first. “I am a cog which aims to fluidify and to stimulate”, abounds the second, which will be at the maneuver in the Côtes-d’Armor and Finistère.

“We add a layer of small chefs”

“We are like a company: when you have a new project, you reorganize yourself”, explained last September the Minister of the Public Service, Amélie de Montchalin, to justify the recruitment of these “project managers” (around thirty in total in France).

In passing, attracting the wrath of the MP for Morbihan Paul Molac (Liberties and Territories group). “Instead of trusting the players in the field already in place, and in particular the local elected representatives, we add a layer of small leaders. So typical of this high Parisian administration… ”he then pointed out.

“Adding a step when there is already too much is a fairly frequent tropism of the senior administration and political power. As a result, no one knows who does what. Nobody manages to identify the right interlocutor, “observes Chloé Morin, author of an essay on the senior civil service published at the end of 2020,” Les Inamovibles de la République “. Expressing her doubts about the effectiveness of the device, she points out that “in certain ministries, it is clearly said that these sub-prefects are there to carry out the electoral campaign”.

“The desire to speed up cases is real”

“Cold chain logisticians would undoubtedly be more useful now,” quipped the Rennes political scientist Romain Pasquier, research director at CNRS, in a message posted at the beginning of January on Twitter.

Gildas Tanguy, lecturer at Sciences Po Toulouse, is less severe. For this specialist in the sociology of the State and the administrative elites, “the desire to speed up cases is real. The government’s ambition is for these sub-prefects to physically embody the recovery plan, in order to give it visibility, especially among local economic players ”. A concern for efficiency which may explain why the “talents” recruited are not as “disruptive” as initially announced. “The profiles are classic, some are enarques. There is no revolution, which is quite logical because the government wanted these sub-prefects to be at work immediately ”. Knowing that they will only have a few months to convince.

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